6 June / 20:00
Voronezh Academic Drama Theatre A.Koltsov - small stage
The stageplay by Fraser Grace based on the story of Andrey Platonov "The River Potudan"
Menagerie Theatre Company
(UK, Cambridge)
Director - Paul Bourne
For the first time in Russia!
Duration - 2 hours 15 minutes with an intermission
The show will premiere at Platonov Festival

In English with Russian subtitles

BLISS by Fraser Grace

Adapted from The River Potudan by Andrey Platonov.

A World Premiere new play in English by Award Winning UK Theatre Company Menagerie of Cambridge.

1921 Russia. 

A time of famine; of the body and of the heart.

In a world that is broken, hope is a luxury and love may be the only currency for survival...

Platonov left us a legacy that is only now being actively discovered in the Western world. Bliss is a new stage play based on The River Potudan. The story is set in post-civil-war 20s and is centred around a Soviet soldier Nikita returning to his home village, meeting his childhood friend Lyuba and trying to rebuild his life from scratch.  

The shattered world they live in, and their own shattered identities, are just some of the obstacles they must overcome – in order to find that elusive thing called BLISS.

As Nikita Firsov attempts to overcome the horrors of war that haunt him, the audience is drawn into considering some very contemporary themes  – of how a society needs time to recover from catastrophe; how real love has both passionate and practical faces; of how the future is built by those who somehow manage to survive their past, however traumatic that is.

With a cast of five English actors, and minimal (but magical) staging that reflects the material paucity of the world of the play.


"A taut, beautifully written elegy that brings home the meaning of War"


The London Observer on

Gifts of War by Fraser Grace


Directed by Paul Bourne


Fraser Grace is a British writer and dramatist, based in Cambridge. His play Breakfast with Mugabe was premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon and revived in the UK and the US, where it was shortlisted in the off-Broadway Awards, 2014, having earlier won the John Whiting Award in the UK. In 2017 his play Always Orange was chosen to help re-launch the RSC’s centre for new work, The Other Place.

Other plays include Perpetua (Verity Bargate Award); Gifts of War; Who Killed Mr Drum? (with Sylvester Stein); Frobisher’s Gold; The Lifesavers (short-listed TMA best new play); King David, Man of Blood; Kalashnikov, in the woods by the lake.  All are published by Oberon Books. 


Menagerie Theatre Company is a leading international theatre company based in Cambridge and working for 16 years with “the new play”. One of its main goals is searching for and supporting talented new playwrights. Apart from touring, the company runs workshops, playwriting courses and Hotbed – an annual festival in Cambridge, the UK