Given that it remains one of the most important events in the history of humanity, I’ve been surprised at the lack of coverage given to the centenary of the Russian Revolution. While there has been a glut of WWI theatrical remembrances, this extraordinary moment – one of the few times when the people have successfully overthrown traditional powers – has been little touched upon. So Revolution, a new play from Liverpool’s Burjesta Theatre, is a welcome addition to the theatrical calendar.
Revolution is not a straight narrative piece, but rather a collage of songs, reportage and vignettes making use of eyewitness accounts, newspaper cuttings and historical analysis. Together these give an impression of how it felt it to live through what John Reed termed ‘Ten Days That Shook the World’.
Not only is the Russian Revolution worth remembering because of the centenary, but also because of the parallels in modern times. It is reassuring to be reminded that people can take control of power if they choose to, that passivity isn’t the only option, and that if we want a better way of life we can make it happen ourselves.