Drink in some dark satire at Hope Street Theatre


Dark satirical comedy comes to the Hope Street Theatre this week when Off The Ground Theatre stages The Drunks.

The Gogol-tinged play, written by Mikhail and Vyachaslev Durnenkov and translated by Nina Raine, is billed as a modern tale of ‘corruption and manipulation, lies and stupidity’ which explores what people are prepared to do both to get into power and to stay there.

While it’s set in Russia, the themes will definitely resonant among audiences outside the country’s borders.

A small Russian town is trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of drunk, frequently ridiculous, and constantly inept politicians who have fought and cheated their way to the top.

They push propaganda, they intimidate, they threaten and control the media - all to maintain their ill-gotten positions of power.

When Ilya, a shell-shocked soldier who can no longer drink, returns home from the frontlines in Chechnya he is hailed as a hero.

Caught in the eye of a political tornado, he is pushed and pulled as the leaders of his hometown manipulate him to further their own agendas.

Director Dan Meigh says: “When we sat down to discuss how best to kick off our 2021/22 season, there was no doubt in our mind this was the right play to do.

“At the time it was written the characters and politicians represented would have been absurd in their ineptitude. Now, it speaks so directly to the current mood across the Western world that you’d think it was written yesterday.”

The Drunks is at the Hope Street Theatre from December 2-4. Tickets HERE