SplitMoon Theatre present a brand-new adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky‘s literary classic Demons to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution. The site-responsive premiere production, adapted and directed by SplitMoon artistic director Peter Stürm, runs at St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch from 25 October to 11 November 2017, with a cast led by Royal Shakespeare Company veteran Jefferey Kissoon.
Demons is Dostoevsky’s prophetic vision of the Russian Revolution, and the subsequent bloodshed under the Soviet regimes. Inspired by the 1869 murder of the student Ivanov by his former co-conspirators and first published in the Russian Messenger in 1871-72, it warns of the seductive lure and fatal consequences of ideologies.
The tragic satire vividly portrays the impact of radical, nihilist and populist ideas on a provincial town and echoes with particular resonance in today’s political landscape.
Peter Stürm comments:
“Dostoevsky’s Demons has been an obsession for many years. Its grotesque situations, and its carnivalesque characters baring their souls, have always fascinated me. What better place than the atmospheric setting of St Leonard’s, with its eerie galleries, staircases and tombs, to drive these Demons out and cleanse our times?”
Stürm has trained and worked mainly with repertory companies in Germany and Switzerland. Dostoevsky has been a thread running through his career, from acting in Ingold Wildenauer’s production of The Brothers Karamazov in Zurich to adapting and performing The Grand Inquisitor and The Dream of a Ridiculous Man. His most recent directing credit in London was SplitMoon’s production of Brecht’s In The Jungle of Cities at the Arcola, which also starred Jeffery Kissoon.
— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) September 5, 2017
In Demons, Jeffery Kissoon plays Stepan Verkhovensky and Tikhon. He’s joined in the cast by Samuel Collings (as Stavrogin), Jethro Skinner (Lebyadkin), Valeria Gogan (Varvara), Timothy Allsop (Pyotr Verkhovensky), Tyler Fayose (Kirillov), Laura Sophie Becker (Marya), Tom Larkin (Shatov), Karina Wiedman (Darya) and Irina Peltola (Lisa). The production is designed by Nicolai Hart-Hansen, with sound by Mike Furness, and produced by Caroline Staunton.
About SplitMoon Theatre
SplitMoon creates new or rarely performed drama with an international focus. The company offers a vivid experience in a site-responsive way with an emphasis on the skill of the actor and the magic of language. The name SplitMoon is a poetic image for the rift in our souls.
About St Leonard’s Church
St Leonard’s Church in Shoreditch has a long history of engagement with the theatrical scene of London. It is the final resting place of many actors of the Elizabethan period, including James Burbage, the founder of The Theatre, England’s first playhouse, and his son Richard Burbage, one of Shakespeare’s favourite leading men. St Leonard’s also served as the setting for the BBC TV series Rev, with the building standing in for the fictional St Saviour’s. Shoreditch was the first theatre district in England, with the country’s first purpose-built theatres – The Theatre and The Curtain – falling within the parish boundaries. St Leonard’s is the original Actors’ Church and the place where Shakespeare prayed.