Stage Door News

Niagara-on-the-Lake: Hannah Moscovitch’s “The Russian Play” begins previews June 8

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Diana Donnelly directs this season’s Lunchtime One-Act, The Russian Play – a tale that pays homage to the bleak realism and humour of the great Russian playwrights. Written by award-winning Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch, this satirical Siberian love story begins previews Saturday at The Shaw’s Royal George Theatre.

Sonya (Gabriella Sundar Singh), a flower-shop girl from the small-town of Vladekstov, recounts her story of love and heartbreak with stunning directness and savage humour. In this fairy-tale romance gone wrong, Sonya loves a gravedigger named Piotr (Peter Fernandes), who breaks her heart. Her attempt to find happiness with the rich and well-connected Kostya (Mike Nadajewski) ends in disaster. A tragic tale of love and life in Stalin's Russia told to the beautiful strains of a violin played by Marie Mahabal.
Gillian Gallow’s use of stylistic elements from post-revolutionary Russia in her set and costume designs creates a stark and barren canvas where bursts of colour, much like Sonya’s memories of love, are allowed to slowly permeate. Gallow’s designs are heightened and enriched by Michelle Ramsay’s lighting. Music direction by Ryan deSouza and movement direction by Esie Mensah add to the dark beauty of this Shaw Festival production.
The Russian Play is on stage at the Royal George Theatre (85 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake) from June 8 to October 12. The Royal George Theatre is sponsored by CIBC.
Mature Content. Age recommendation 14+. Running time: approximately 50 minutes.

The Shaw Festival’s 2019 season is on stage April 6 through December 22 featuring a playbill that includes The Horse and His Boy, Brigadoon, The Ladykillers, Man and Superman with Don Juan in Hell, Rope, Getting Married, The Russian Play, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Glass Menagerie, Sex, VictorySecret Theatre, A Christmas Carol and Holiday Inn. Tickets for the 2019 Festival season are available through the Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW and online at