Cinzano: Cinzano and Smirnova's Birthday
Cinzano and Smirnova's Birthday are two linked plays, first published in Moscow in 1988, depicting the grim reality of domestic life in Soviet Russia. And despite the immense political and social upheavals of subsequent decades, they remain as resonant and relevant as ever.
In Cinzano, first staged in English at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, in 1989, three young men drink themselves into a stupor to escape their drab lives and family responsibilities. In the companion piece, Smirnova's Birthday, the men's girlfriends meet up at a birthday celebration.
Dubbed the 'feminist Chekhov', Ludmila Petrushevskaya's work is rooted in the domestic detail of everyday life in Soviet Russia.
Petrushevskaya was born in Moscow in 1938, where she studied journalism at university and worked for television throughout the 1960s. Although a prolific writer of plays and short stories, her work remained unpublished until the mid-1980s and the glasnost of Gorbachev. Her plays have since been widely performed in Russia and all over the world.
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