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In a provincial town somewhere in Russia, a shell-shocked soldier downs vodka on his return from the frontline in Chechnya. As he arrives home he stumbles into the epicentre of an extraordinary power struggle that threatens to tear the town apart. This darkly comic and free-wheeling epic play of modern Russian life, reminiscent of Gogol at his most satirical, was commissioned by the RSC for their Russian season this summer. It will premiere alongside The Grain Store in the RSC's biggest theatre on 21 August 2009. The English-language version is by Nina Raine, who won Critics Circle and Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Awards for her own play, Rabbit (also published by NHB).
Mikhail and Vyacheslav Durenkov have written over thirty-five plays between them. Mikhail's work has been seen at many new writing festivals, while his brother, Vyacheslav, has won several awards for his work, which has been seen at the Moscow Arts Theatre and abroad.