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Belarus Free Theatre Opens Up Its Digital Archive To Share 24 Theatrical Productions From The Past 15 Years

2020 marks the 15th anniversary of Belarus Free Theatre (BFT), the foremost refugee-led theatre company in the UK and the only theatre in Europe banned by its government on political grounds.

Ahead of the announcement of the full programme of BFT's 15th anniversary celebrations, and in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the company will open up its digital archive to make 24 acclaimed stage productions free to watch online, alongside the launch of a new fairy-tale-inspired campaign: #LoveOverVirus

Belarus Free Theatre began 15 years ago this week - on 30 March 2005 - in Minsk under Europe's last surviving dictatorship. Since 2011, the company has been based between Minsk and London where its co-founding Artistic Directors, Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin, are political refugees in the UK. New productions are created and rehearsed over Skype before premiering in continually changing underground locations in and around Minsk.

Over the past decade, BFT has - through necessity - pioneered creating award-winning theatre at distance and will now share a raft of its theatrical highlights with audiences online at a time when more than a third of the world's population is adapting to daily life under lockdown.

Beginning this Saturday (4 April), and continuing each weekend for the next three months, 24 productions will be made available to watch online on BFT's YouTube channel:

Each production listed below will air on the date indicated at 8pm GMT and will be available to watch for the following 24 hours.

Belarus Free Theatre has always extended its reach far beyond theatre walls and 2020 is no exception. Alongside exploding taboos on the world stage BFT has pioneered an award-winning global model of artivism that unites artistic, geopolitical, environmental and human rights concerns.

Fairy-tales take centre-stage in the latest campaign also launching this week on BFT's YouTube channel:

Each evening at 6pm GMT throughout the months of April and May, members of BFT's permanent ensemble will be joined by some of the company's famous friends - including Will Attenborough, Stephen Fry, Boombox frontman Andrei Khlyvniuk, David Lan, Juliet Stevenson and Sam West - to read extracts of their favourite fairy-tales and short stories.

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