“Come, Let’s Away to Prison”: Local and Global Myths, and “Political Shakespeare” in Twenty-First-Century Russia

  • Aleksandra Sakowska
Part of the Reproducing Shakespeare book series (RESH)


The chapter examines “political Shakespeare” as a local myth that became global. The myth supports a collective narrative about oppressed cultures using Aesopian strategies in the arts to challenge censorship. In the twentieth century, “political Shakespeare” in particular gave a unique identity to Shakespearean performances in Eastern Europe, thus crediting political dimension of Shakespeare’s texts with the ability to resist and fight communist control. A key problem with “political Shakespeare” myth, however, is that it stifles other readings of Shakespearean stagings in Eastern Europe. It also does not allow for problematizing what “the political” in theatre means, how it is achieved, and how often unsuccessful it is. The chapter tests this myth by analysing two modern Russian productions by Konstantin Bogomolov and Nikolai Kolyada.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aleksandra Sakowska
    • 1
  1. 1.Shakespeare InstituteUniversity of BirminghamLondonUK

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