Russian authors on the London stage 2012/13

Name Appearances
Chekhov 14
Gogol 4
Tolstoy 3
Dostoevsky 3
Bulgakov 1*2
Pushkin, Nabokov, Leonid Zorin, Alexander Galin, Gorky, Leskov, Arbuzov 1 each

The table above shows the results of a tabulation I carried out on the basis of the data here as it was in August.  What we see of course is that everyone feels they have to give us their Chekhov–I have the feeling that Chekhov and Euripides are the two non-English-language playwrights who are recognised on the English stage.  Otherwise, there are an awful lot of adaptations of non-dramatic works, even in the case of Gogol and Bulgakov who were of course dramatists.  On that basis, the regrettable absentee would be Alexander Ostrovsky, who did actually write plays, though they probably require some knowledge of traditional Russian life on the part of the audience to be successful.   Of course, putting non-dramatic works on stage is a disease that is very prevalent in Russia.

More generally, among shows listed in London for 11-17 August (a very uncharacteristic period of course) I found 96 plays and 11 adaptations, with the only authors appearing more than once being Shakespeare (8) and Euripides (2).  The source languages were:  English 93, French 3, Greek 3, Russian 2, Spanish 2, Others 4.

So at least we tend to escape the plays that aren’t!

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