A Very Expensive Poison, at Circo Media: This week Alexei Navalny was been murdered on the orders of Putin, while previously other opposition figures in Russia have been killed for speaking out. Boris Nemtsov shot dead, as was journalist Anna Politkovskaya, while Boris Berezovsky was found hanged, Mikhail Lesin, was beaten to death, Sergei Yushenkov was shot dead, journalist Novaya Gazeta was poisoned, Sergei Magnitsky was beaten to death and Denis Voronenkov was shot dead. In 2018, former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia survived after being poisoned in Salisbury with Novichok. The same fate as the Alexander Litvinenko who is the subject of the play A Very Expensive Poison set to be staged in Bristol this month.

The former KGB agent who accused Putin of orchestrating the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings, was poisoned in London in 2006 with polonium-210, a radioactive element, leaving a trail of highly dangerous poison across the city. In Lucy Prebble’s 2019 play A Very Expensive Poison based on the book by Luke Harding, we see the events of that fateful cup of tea offered to Alexander through the eyes of his wife Marina and the unreliable narrator Vladimir Putin who is little more than a mafia boss.

The students of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School are staging the drama A Very Expensive Poison directed by Aaron Parsons and designed by Jess Brown and Millie Richmond at Circo Media (St Paul’s Church) in St Paul’s in Bristol. Their publicity says: “His name was Alexander Litvinenko. A former Russian intelligence officer turned vocal Putin critic, granted asylum in Britain – but his outspoken opposition would prove fatal. Seen profoundly through the eyes of Litvinenko’s grieving wife Marina, award-winning playwright Lucy Prebble untangles the events of a shocking assassination on British soil, based on Luke Harding’s gripping novel.”­

Harry Mottram

The play A Very Expensive Poison runs 7:30pm from Sat 17 – Sat 24 Feb, 2:30pm on Thu 22 & Sat 24 Feb
A BSL Interpreted performance with signer Sherrie Eugene-Hart will take place on Fri 23 Feb at 7:30pm

Tickets: https://www.circomedia.com/a-very-expensive-poison/ Full Price £14, Concession £11 (including booking fees)
Age guide: 14+. Contains strong language, mild sex references and themes of death and poisoning.

For more on the theatre school visit https://oldvic.ac.uk/

Rapscallion Magazine is an online publication edited by Harry Mottram

Harry is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc


Mobile: 07789 864769