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Boris Godunov

Boris Godunov

Written by Alexander Pushkin
Performed in Russian

During the ‘Time of Troubles’ in Russia, the Tsar battles to suppress a dangerous impostor and his own conscience. Boris Godunov has gained power through bloody means – the murder of young prince Dimitri, son of Ivan the Terrible.

From ballrooms to battles, Pushkin’s lyrical masterpiece is a compelling exposé of the seductive appeal of power and the price that must be paid for it. Money, corruption, sex and blood thicken this sinuous and radical play, inspired by Shakespeare’s histories.  

The first performance of this production was at Moscow Art Theatre on 15th June 2000.

A co-production between the Chekhov International Theatre Festival and Avignon Theatre Festival with the support of the European Association “Theorem”, Brighton Festival and La Filature, Mulhouse, France; in association with Cheek by Jowl

Additional support from the British Council, Moscow, British Embassy, Moscow, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and Department for Culture of Moscow.  

“Tremendous and stirring… a splendid, bursting, mighty themed epic”

The Independent
Cast and creative team


Alexey DadonovGavrila Pushkin / Shcheklalov, the Duma Scribe
Alexander FeklistovBoris Godunov
Irina GrinevaMarina Msnishek
Ilia IlinPrince Vorotynsky / Russian Prisoner
Nikolay KhmelevFather Varlaam / Karela the Cossack
Olga KhokholvaOwner of the tavern
Leonid KrasovitskyPoet
Andrei Kuzichev / Evgeny MironovGrigori Otrepyev
Evgeny PlekhanovSobansky / Bailiff
Dmitry ShcherbinaSemyon Godunov / Prince Kurbsky
Oleg VavilovPatriarch / Yuri Mnishek
Igor YasulovichPimen / Pushkin
Elena ZakharovaTsarevna Xenia
Mikhail ZhigalovFather Superior / Chief Bailiff / Catholic Priest / Basmanov

Creative Team

DirectorDeclan Donnellan
DesignerNick Ormerod
Lighting DesignerJudith Greenwood
Music DirectorMaxim Gutkin
ChoreographerIrina Filippova
Interpreter / Literary ConsultantDina Dodina
Assistant DirectorEvgeny Pisarev
Assistant DirectorAnna Kolesnikova
Technical DirectorVladimir Kizeev
Stage ManagerEkaterina Cheremina
Previous performances

Previous Performances

9–16 November 2010Sceaux, Les Gémeaux, Paris, France
22–26 July 2009New York City, The Armory, USA
27–29 November 2008Bucharest, Romania
13–17 May 2008London, Barbican, UK
6–10 May 2008Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre, UK
29 April–3 May 2008Salford, The Lowry, UK
29 November–2 December 2007Hong Kong, Cultural Centre Studio Theatre, Hong Kong
5–6 August 2006Rio de Janeiro, Fundição Progresso, Brazil
28–30 July 2006São Paolo, SESC Pompéia, Brazil
December 2005Brussels, Belgium
June 2004Moscow, Russia
February 2004Saint Petersburg, Russia
October – November 2003Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
October – November 2003Tempe, Arizona, USA
September 2003Berlin, Germany
November 2002Saint Petersburg, Russia
November 2002Riga, Latvia
April 2002Bogotá, Colombia
March – April 2002Caracas, Venezuela
8–16 February 2002Sceaux, Les Gémeaux, Paris, France
February 2002Mulhouse, France
November 2001Créteil, France
23–26 August 2001Zurich, Festival Theater–Spektakel, Switzerland
July 2001Avignon, France
June 2001Warwick, UK
June 2001London, UK
June 2001Amsterdam, Netherlands
May 2001Newcastle, UK
May 2001Brighton, UK
April 2001Moscow, Russia
February 2001Pushkinskie Gory, Russia
October 2000Ekaterinburg, Russia
October 2000Chelyabinsk, Russia
15 June 2000Moscow, Moscow Arts Theatre, Russia


“A transcendent tale of all too earthly power. A sharp, rare double vision – of visceral intimacy and cosmic distance”

Ben Brantley, The New York Times


Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Forceful fluidity… Vivid imagery… A rare moment of potent emotional immediacy.”

Sam Marlowe, The Times

“In a thrilling modern-dress version, it emerges as a mordant commentary on the instabilities of power and the repetitive nature of tyranny, and it crackles with edgy, topical relevance.”

Paul Taylor, The Independent

“100% proof theatre”

Izvestia, Moscow
Production photo
Photograph: Chi Wai
Production photo
Photograph: Chi Wai
Production photo
Photograph: Chi Wai

“A thrilling vision of Pushkin’s young masterpiece staged with breathtaking panache”

The Guardian

Everything includes itself in power.

Troilus and Cressida, Act I, Scene iii

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