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Banned Russian LGBT play comes to the White Bear Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WRITTEN by Valeriy Pecheykin and directed by Charlotte Evans, A Little Hero runs at the White Bear Theatre from August 7 to August 25, 2018.

Fourteen year old Vovochka idolises president Putin and seeks to put the world to rights after learning about homosexuality in school. He terrorises his neighbourhood and pledges to do his work in the name of his great leader.

A Little Hero presents the difficult reality of being gay in Putin’s Russia with a literal interpretation of this sentiment – a surreal crematorium disguised as an experimental “treatment” device.

A Little Hero was written by Valeriy Pecheykin, a talented young, gay Russian playwright, in January 2014 and published in Russian in the alternative literary magazine, Mitin Journal.

Because of a 2013 law banning distribution of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” among minors, the magazine must be sold in a black plastic cover with a note announcing that it contains information unsuitable for persons under 18. For the same reason, the play stands no chance of being staged in Russia in the foreseeable future.

An adaptation of A Little Hero, entitled Crematorium was performed in New York in 2014.

The cast includes Simon Stallard (Offie nominee for Kes at the Brockley Jack), Shona Graham, Max Baker, Tris Hobson, Jamie Foulkes, Eden Hastings and Max Baker.

Charlotte Evans is an emerging director who has directed work at the Salisbury Playhouse (Twenty Something), North Wall Oxford and the Bike Shed Exeter. After an inspiring lecture at university, she contacted Valeriy Pecheykin with the aim of staging A Little Hero in the UK. After two years and a rehearsed reading, it is finally being presented at the White Bear.

Presented by DoneDid, A Little Hero has movement direction by Phao May.

Tickets: £16 (£12 concessions). To book, call the box office on 0333 012 4963 or visit www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk/.

Time: Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30pm.

Also at the White Bear Theatre: The Unnatural Tragedy, by Margaret Cavendish (July 3 to July 21, 2018).