Press and Audience Reviews

REVIEWS:

‘Really it needs to be performed to an embassy, or to a panel of people with a lot of power over border controls. Forcing them to cast their vote as to whether or not an 8 year old can stay in the country could challenge their thoughts further than they expect.’ Two Lasses in London

‘fresh, thoughtful and a hell of a lot of fun. Expect music and good acting too.’ CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN LONDON REVIEW  

‘The contrasting experiences and expectations of the two young people are increasingly moving. Actor Ira Sandalovych compellingly portrays a descent into fear. Sandalovych doesn’t simply engage the audience, she immerses us in the tumultuous narrative…. The message is crystal clear. Humanity is common: borders and suffering man made.’ EDINBURGH49 

‘It’s a novel way of exploring how Britain deals with undocumented migrants, and it’s effective. […] The show is funny, the actors are accomplished, there is some beautiful singing and dancing and there is plenty of talent behind the writing which pieced together the verbatim interviews which inspire the stories of the migrants in the play […] balances being entertaining with being thought-provoking and, at times, deeply moving.’ THE STUDENT NEWSPAPER 

‘A sparkling parody on what it takes for migrants to win the hearts and minds of Brits: scintillatingly clever, touching, thought provoking and great fun.’ UKRAINIAN EVENTS IN LONDON

EDINBURGH FRINGE AUDIENCE RESPONSES TO OUR SHOW (FROM OUR LISTING ON EDFRINGE.COM 2016):

‘This show will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it will make you think!’

‘Smart text, hilarious jokes.’

‘Touching, emotional, funny.’

‘I was amazed to learn that all the stories of the characters are based on real events.’

‘A topical, engaging, well written story. Charmingly presented & cleverly staged. Exactly what a good fringe show should be’.

‘It’s a must-see show!’

ARTICLES ABOUT MOLODYI TEATR LONDON:

Interview in ToDoList with Uilleam Blacker and Olesya Khromeychuk about Penetrating Europe, or Migrants Have Talent.

Interview in Text Matters with Uilleam Blacker about Molodyi Teatr’s work. Uilleam Blacker spoke to Joanna Kosmalska, expert on migration literature, for the journal Text Matters. 

East Europeans Celebrated! UnSSEESing, the Alumni magazine from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies about Bloody East Europeans, Spring 2016.

SSEES 2016

East Europeans Celebrated!, UnSSEESing, Spring 2016.

Will musical satire about eastern Europeans sway your vote on Brexit? by Imogen Blake, Ham&High, 1 April 2016.

Migrant voices onstage in London by Molly Flynn, Open Democracy Russia, 8 October 2015.

Life’s a stage: exploring documentary theatre’s role in the new east by Samuel Goff, The Calvert Journal, 5 October 2015.

Documentary theatre series in London to highlight immigration and social inequality by James Lillywhite, A Young Theatre, 25 September 2015.

DISMANTLING EAST EUROPEAN-NESS ONSTAGE. Community theatre group Molodyi teatr questions and deconstructs what it means to be an East European migrant in London by Darya Malyutina, Political Critique, 23 September 2015.

EDINBURGH FRINGE AUDIENCE RESPONSES TO OUR SHOW (FROM OUR LISTING ON EDFRINGE.COM 2015):

At a time when immigration is one of the hottest topics in the press it was exciting to see how this group of actors would tackle this often emotive and misunderstood subject. Opening on a dark stage the inert actors slowly come to life performing their menial repetitive tasks before exploding in a riot of song, dance and black humour as the audience is bombarded with the complexities of the many individual countries, languages and cultures which are so often lumped together as East European.
The pace is fast-moving with a dynamic mixture of vignettes – the mafiosi conman, naive blonde waitress, Polish IT wizard – as Russia, Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Romania and many others are swiftly stirred and shaken together in a dazzling and powerful cocktail. You will laugh out loud, join in the songs and cry at the often tragic stories of those who have left war, poverty, corruption and their families to work and study in our country. You will be moved by their beautiful interpretation of Ukrainian songs and firmly rooting for them against the UK Border Agency.

A light-hearted show with a serious message, challenging our tendency to lump all East Europeans together as somehow “other” than us, and confronting us with the reality of their lives. Fresh, witty and entertaining. See it, even if you only want to learn the Polish words for yes and no.

BLOODY EAST EUROPEANS PICKED OUT BY JOYCE MCMILLAN IN THE SCOTSMAN AS ONE OF THE SHOWS TO SEE AT THE FRINGE IN HER FESTIVAL PREVIEW!

TODOLIST.ORG.UK CALLED US ONE OF THE 40 UNMISSABLE SHOWS AT THE 2015 FRINGE!

WE WERE HONOURED TO BE LONGLISTED FOR THE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AWARD 2015!

BBC RUSSIAN SERVICE REPORT ON THE 2015 FRINGE

Our show Bloody East Europeans was feature in an article on the Fringe by the BBC Russian Service. Here is a translation of the section on us:

You’d think it’d be hard to surprise the audiences at the Fringe – but have anyof them heard ‘Murka’ [classic Russian gangster song]?

The Ukrainian group from London Molodyi Teatr filled this possible gap with their show Bloody East Europeans, about the lives of Eastern European immigrants in Britain. Their first show at the Fringe was entirely sold out – not bad for a first night, the venue staff murmured to one another. Even more so, since the group is at the Fringe for the first time.

The show is lively, musical and full of stereotypes about those who are often thrown together into the very diverse group known as Eastern Europeans; but when you leave the theatre, the mood isn’t so cheerful – all those migrant misadventures seem a bit too real.

‘I think the British public is more interested in problems of migration than in the war in Ukraine, unfortunately,’ the show’s author, Uilleam Blacker, explains the relevance of the play.

He began work on the play before the Euromaidan and the war, and the show was first performed in spring 2014. This first Fringe trip is an opportunity for the group to move beyond the limits of an Eastern European public: ‘To be heard outside of that group of people who already know what we’re talking about and can say “Oh, that’s about me!”’.

‘It’s not enough just to talk about the Maidan. People want to know more about Ukrainians, and not only about Ukrainians. Who are these people from Eastern Europe? There’s some kind of war going on there, something strange, hard to understand,’ says the group’s director, Olesya Khromeychuk, who sees the play as a way into understanding contemporary events. And there are more and more British people in their audiences.

Ukrainian migrants in the audience admit that they can see themselves on the stage.

‘Of course I recognised myself: I’m a lawyer, but I work as an administrator in a hostel. We don’t steal others’ jobs, we show British people that they could work harder’, says Daria from Ukraine.

In everyday life, Molodyi Teatr’s members are not actors: some work on building sites, some clean houses, others teach at universities or work in science; the theatre starts only after work. Yaroslav, for example, works on British building sites outside of the theatre, and admits that until he joined the group he’d only been in the theatre twice in his life.

‘I had friends, typical migrant workers, who were interested only in work and home. I didn’t like that, I wanted something more,’ he says about his motives for joining the theatre.

All the members of the group are convinced that a trip to the Fringe is the dream of any theatre or actor – a dream they’ve managed to fulfil.

IN-HOUSE REVIEW FROM OUR LOVELY HOSTS AT THE QUAKER MEETING HOUSE (VENUE 40):

One of the unexpected treats at this year’s Fringe delivered an impromptu lesson in “Eastern European”, a medley of folk and pop tunes (including a fantastic take on YMCA which will stay with me for a good while) and a rather more serious glimpse into the realities of working without a visa all to a packed audience of the Friends Meeting House.

The troupe behind Bloody Eastern Europeans made a great job of treating serious and often complicated matters in a light and humorous way while poking fun at our ignorance of the region which often gets casually lumped into “Eastern Europe”. Irony and folk songs are never too far apart as we get to glimpse into the cash in hand world of the “Eastern European” bar in Stratford where “Eastern Europeans” do their best to make ends meet, keep relationships intact and follow the “dream” of “being able to clean indefinitely”. The show is fun and engaging but serious issues are never far away, a great choice for anyone who likes a heavy dose of irony with their folk singing.

THE CZECH WEBSITE BRITSKÉ LISTY RAN A SHORT ARTICLE ABOUT US HERE

AUDIENCE REVEWS FROM OUR PREVIOUS SHOWS IN LONDON ALSO FROM EDFRINGE.COM

So true, so funny, and so sad. All in one within just one hour served with unpredictable dose of humour, sarcasm, and sense of reality. The play tells more about the East European incomers than hundreds of press articles.

They made me cry, they made me laugh. They made me think, and I had a great fun at the same time.

A perceptive commentary on the topical subject of Eastern European migrant workers. Poignant and at times hilarious, this play portrays the current trials and tribulations of “those bloody Eastern Europeans” and their attempts to assimilate with British life and culture. Poignantly written and enacted by the Molodyi Teatr. Don’t miss it!

Witty, exuberant and revealing, this cabaret-style offering is performed with infectious enthusiasm. In other words, bloody good fun!

Love it! This is amazing story which shows the reality of many people’s life. Wonderful actors, fantastic performance.

The play was refreshingly accessible and the energy was electric in the audience, who were encouraged to sing, clap and interact. Definitely worth a visit, you’ll be taking about it with your mates for ages after!

Their dynamic, tragicomical performance will definitely make you think: if you were not born in this country – you may find yourself in one of the characters on the stage; if you were born in this country – you may start seeing immigrants not only as people who get your jobs and claim benefits, but as honest, hard-working real people with their different stories behind their all-look-the-same East European facades.

ARTICLE IN MIGRANT VOICE ABOUT MELODY TEATR LONDON BY OUR VERY OWN DMITRI MACMILLEN:

BEE Article MV 2015

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