Marching to free Belarus

BY Almeida Theatre   March 31, 2011

On Monday afternoon, staff from the Almeida Theatre, the Young Vic, Old Vic, Belarus Free Theatre and a host of British and Belarussian artists gathered outside the offices of Grayling PR to join in with the March for Belarus. With banners in hand, bearing the faces of those who have been unjustly locked up by Belarus’ president Alexander Lukashenko, we made our way down to the houses of Parliament for a performance by Belarus Free Theatre, and their avid supporter Jude Law.

Belarus Free Theatre is a company founded by Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Koliada who, under the leadership of Lukashenko, otherwise known as ‘Europe’s Last Dictator’, have been forced to flee from Belarus, where all theatres are state owned, all performances censored and where freedom of speech only results in arrest, torture and imprisonment.

The afternoon was inspirational to say the least with talks given by Natalia Koliada, Kevin Spacey, Jude Law and Sir Tom Stoppard.

Kevin Spacey Whenever there has been protest or revolt or revolution, it is the artists, it is the playwrights, the poets, the actors, the intellectuals who are jailed and silenced and why? Because even dictators know that it is the artists who can best speak to a nation’s hopes and dreams and future. It is the artists. So we march today for the artists.”

 

We are now even more excited about the Almeida Festival this summer, where Belarus Free Theatre will be presenting their innovative and hard-hitting work. Find out more about how you can get behind the campaign to Free Belarus at http://www.freebelarusnow.org/en/home.