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Russian classic to make Asian debut in Hong Kong

Renowned British Director Declan Donnellan and top-class Russian theatre actors will perform the Russian classic "Boris Godunov" next month (November), which will be its Asian debut.

Donellan brings the widely popular opera with actors Alexander Feklistov, Andrey Kuzichev and Irina Grineva, providing a timely reminder of the new identity of the Russians and giving the masterpiece contemporary relevance.

The play is about politics, power and human nature. Russian literary titan Alexander Pushkin, the playwright of "Boris Godunov", turned a piece of unofficial Russian history into drama, probing the role of people in the making of history.

Boris Godunov plotted to kill a prince and succeeded in usurping the throne. His lust for power is satisfied, but his people have proved fickle and his conscience is not at peace. Being privy to the sham that Boris throws over the people, a young monk Grigory disguises himself as the slain prince in his ambition to seize the throne and expose Boris. On the other hand, Grigory does not have the courage to ask his lover whether she loves him as he is, or as the prince he purports to be.

Since its premiere in the 2000 Moscow Chekhov International Theatre Festival, Donellan's "Boris Godunov" has been invited to arts festivals globally including the Netherlands, France, USA, Germany and Brazil.

The Guardian (UK) praised it as "a wittily allusive play staged with breathtaking panache." Express (Moscow) commented, "Declan Donnellan and the 'dream-cast' of actors open to us the depths of the play that has been known only by opera-goers."

Declan Donnellan is joint founder and joint Artistic Director of Cheek by Jowl. Donnellan has received many awards, including the Director of the Year (1987), Best Director of a Play (1995) and the Olivier for Outstanding Achievement (1990) of Laurence Olivier Awards, as well as the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2004 for his work in France.

Chekhov International Theatre Festival has been held since 1992 to introduce to the world theatre of great Russian playwrights such as Chekhov, Stanislavsky and Meyerhold. It also brings famous works to Russia, including those of Peter Brook, Peter Stein and Tadashi Suzuki.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Chekhov International Theatre Festival (Russia) "Boris Godunov" will be staged at 8pm on November 29 to December 1 (Thursday to Saturday); and at 3pm on December 1 and 2 (Saturday and Sunday) at the Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets priced at $220, $320 and $420, are now available at URBTIX outlets, while senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients may have 50% off (limited quotas for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues. Group booking discounts are available, please check the programme leaflet for details.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7323; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009; for credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999; for Internet bookings, visit ; for more information, visit .

Ends/Monday, October 22, 2007

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