Oxygen at LIFT

24 June 2010

'Internationalism is one of the founding principles of the RSC, guarding against us becoming too insular and ensuring we are fully engaged with the contemporary world'

LIFT and the Royal Shakespeare Company present Oxygen UK/Russia

Written by Ivan Vyrypaev
Translated by Sasha Dugdale
Directed by Deborah Shaw
15-18 July 2010

In this extraordinary collaboration which started life as part of the RSC's Russian Revolutions Season in Stratford-upon-Avon last year, RSC Associate Director Deborah Shaw directs actors from the current long ensemble – Dharmesh Patel and Sophie Russell, as they perform with the 2008 World B-Boy champions Top 9, from St Petersburg and DJ Hobot, one of Moscow's leading club DJs and fifth member of Russia's biggest hiphop band, Kasta.

Oxygen is an explosive late night mix of words, music and dance; a raw, visceral take on the Ten Commandments for a dispossessed generation, by one of Russia's leading playwrights and film makers, Ivan Vyrypaev.

Deborah Shaw's first project at the RSC was as Director of the Complete Works Festival in 2006/7 when all of Shakespeare's plays were performed in one year by the RSC along with theatre companies from around the world. Her collaborations with international theatre practitioners have continued to seed workshops, projects and productions, nurture emerging talent and to inform the RSC's own work. Her role takes her from the intimacy of the rehearsal room to international cultural policy forums, including a recent EU/Russian Federation initiative looking at a new roadmap for cross-cultural cooperation.

The next big moment when internationalism will be centre-stage at the RSC will be the World Shakespeare Festival, which Deborah is directing and the RSC is producing as part of the official culture programme of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Deborah said: "Since the Complete Works Festival, we have been in dialogue with an ever-growing family of artists, companies and theatre practitioners from around the world who bring us new approaches to theatre-making and a fresh perspective on Shakespeare's plays. Internationalism is one of the founding principles of the RSC, guarding against us becoming too insular and ensuring we are fully engaged with the contemporary world.

"In this project we wanted to explore one of the most important plays of the Russian new wave through combining an English translation and performance style with the authenticity of an explosive Russian physical presence and the sounds of the contemporary Russian music scene."

Dharmesh Patel and Sophie Russell are currently performing in the RSC repertoire of plays at The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon which will transfer to the Roundhouse in London from November 2010. For more information on the repertoire, please go to www.rsc.org.uk.

020 7930 3647 or www.liftfestival.com
For further information on the RSC, please contact Philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk
For further information on LIFT, please contact Sharon Kean on Sharon@keanlanyon.com
Oxygen is part of LIFT 2010; London International Festival of Theatre, which will take place 23 June-18 July across London. Www.liftfestival.com <http://Www.liftfestival.com> <http://Www.liftfestival.com>

Established in 1981, LIFT, London International Festival of Theatre works with artists from across the world to find new ways of seeing the city. LIFT's rich and varied programming has presented extraordinary events in both conventional theatres and in more unusual spaces such as underground tunnels and hair salons.

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