Dostoevsky’s Demons and The Catechism of a Revolutionary

Join us for a live performance in collaboration with SplitMoon Theatre company alongside their new production of Demons, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s tragic satire of Russian radicals which blurs the lines between good and evil.

Two actors from the SplitMoon ensemble will perform a dramatised version of the chapter The Tsarevich, which Dostoevsky developed out of Sergei Nechaev’s Catechism of a Revolutionary. The dramatisation is written and directed by Peter Stürm and based on the translation by the two-time PEN Prize-winning Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.

A short introduction to the evening will be followed by the performance and a lively discussion on the topics.

When the young revolutionary Sergei Nechaev escaped from the authorities in Russia he met Mikhail Bakunin in Geneva in 1869. The two men struck up a close friendship and they composed the Catechism of a Revolutionary, which had a huge impact on subsequent generations of revolutionaries worldwide, including Lenin and Stalin. In his novel Demons, Dostoevsky satirises the radicals, in particular Nechaev, whose jury trial in Moscow he followed closely. Nachaev and his cell were eventually convicted for the murder of their former co-conspirator Ivanov and sentenced to hard labour in Siberia. Some twenty years earlier Dostoevsky himself was sentenced to death for conspiracy but pardoned by the Tsar.

SplitMoon Theatre is producing Dostoevsky’s Demons at St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch 25 October – 11 November to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution.

Samuel Collings plays Stavrogin in Demons. Samuel is currently appearing in Boudica with Gina McKee at Shakespeare’s Globe. His other stage credits include Antony and Cleopatra (Royal Shakespeare Company/Public Theater, New York) and the stage premiere of the award-winning BBC TV comedy series Waiting For God (UK No.1 Tour).

Timothy Allsop plays Pyotr Verkhovensky in Demons. His theatre credits include Murder in the Cathedral, The Wright Brothers and Roger Bannister in The Four Minute Mile (all Oxford Playhouse), King Lear, Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet (Guildford Shakespeare Company), and Lord Dundreary in Our American Cousin (Finborough).

Peter Stürm is Artistic Director of SplitMoon Theatre. He trained and worked mainly with repertory companies in Germany and Switzerland. Dostoevsky has been a thread running through his career, from acting in Ingold Wildenauer’s production of The Brothers Karamazov in Zurich to dramatising and performing The Grand Inquisitor and The Dream of a Ridiculous Man. His most recent directing credit in London was SplitMoon’s production of Brecht’s In The Jungle of Cities at the Arcola with Jeffery Kissoon, who plays Stepan Verkhovensky in Demons.

Part of The Future Remains: Revisiting Revolutiona season marking the centenary of the Russian Revolution.

Booking terms: pay what you wish

For a limited number of our events, attendees can pay what they wish for admission via Eventbrite. The suggested admission fee is £5. Please follow the booking URL to finalise your order.