Two new plays from Sweden and Russia premiered at The Gate in 1996 Sisters, Brothers by Stig Larsson: Three sisters arrange a rare evening together. The intervention of their respective boyfriends produces a night of increasing sexual tension, cruelty and, ultimately, revelation. Stockholm's theatrical hit of 1994, Stig Larsson's instinct for psychological and emotional violence has been compared with Strindberg and Ingmar Bergman.
The Oginski Polonaise by Nikolai Kolyada is about Tanya's return to Russia after eight years in New York. Her former servants await her return to Moscow with terror as they expect to be evicted. But when the "Americanized" Tanya does arrive she is dressed as a ballerina and in flight from the KGB. Playing on Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, Kolyada skilfully blends comedy and pathos to produce a bleak but human vision of post-perestroika Russia.
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