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Mikhail Durnenkov's THE WAR HAS NOT YET STARTED to Play at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, May 12

Theatre Royal Plymouth Artistic Director Simon Stokes today announces that The War Has Not Yet Started, Mikhail Durnenkov's funny, eye-opening and surreal dark comedy about everyday people fighting everyday wars, opens in The Drum next month.

In these twelve short stories, Durnenkov recommends we ignore gender and age casting conventionalities as he explores the fears and strangeness of our daily lives - sexual gamesmanship; what to do with our ageing parents; how about the children; those lying politicians; tension at the airports; those lying journalists; finding 'the one'.

Hilarious, weird, unsettling, even ghastly on occasion you might think, but then, frankly, the war has not yet started.

Durnenkov, sometimes with his brother Vyacheslav, is a highly admired Muscovite writer for stage, television and film in Russia. In the UK he has written for the RSC, Dundee Rep and, with a shorter and earlier version of this play, Òran Mór in Glasgow.

The War Has Not Yet Started runs from 12 - 28 May at The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth. Written by Mikhail Durnenkov and translated by Noah Birksted-Breen, Michael Fentiman directs a cast of David Birrell, Joshua James and Tamzin Griffin. Lighting design Tim Lutkin, set and costume design James Cotterill and sound design Nuno Rocha Santos. The play received a rehearsed reading as part of Theatre Royal Plymouth's festival of Russian play readings at the Frontline Club in January 2016.

Mikhail Durnenkov is a major stage, screen and television talent based in Moscow. Durnenkov is one of the founders of the Togliatti New Drama School and a graduate of the Moscow University of Cinematography. A writer for both theatre and film, Durnenkov's work includes: The Blue Metalworker , Drunks (co-written with Vyacheslav Durnenkov), No Trust , At the Edge of the Earth, and The Simple(st) Way to Give Up Smoking . Durnenkov has received numerous awards for his writing and his work has been staged across Europe. His plays have been translated into German, English, Finnish, Polish and Turkish.

David Birrell's theatre credits include The Family Way, An Enemy of the People, Journey's End (Bolton Octagon), The Death of King Arthur (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), Peter Pan, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Ragtime (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), The Last Days of Troy (Royal Exchange/Shakespeare's Globe), Sweeney Todd (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Royal Exchange/Dundee Rep), A Little Night Music (Guildford/West End), Company (Sheffield Crucible), Passion, Grand Hotel (Donmar Warehouse), The Secret Garden, Hapgood, Peter Pan (Birmingham Rep/West Yorkshire Playhouse), Spamalot(original West End cast), Habeas Corpus, The Man of Mode (Exeter Northcott), Henry V (Propeller), Oh! What A Lovely War (National Theatre), The Gates Of Paradise, The Jewess Of Toledo, The Venetian Twins, Love's Labour's Lost, Moby Dick, The Tempest, Murder in the Cathedral, Hamlet, Columbus, Romeo and Juliet (RSC). Television incudes Holy Flying Circus and Buried.

Joshua James' theatre credits include Here We Go, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Treasure Island (National Theatre), Bring Up the Bodies and Wolf Hall (RSC), Fathers and Sons (Donmar Warehouse),The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas, No Quarter, Love & Information (Royal Court) and The Tempest (Shakespeare's Globe). Television includes Call The Midwife, Utopia, Whites, Silent Witness andIdentity. Film includes Criminal and Summer in February.

Tamzin Griffin last appeared at Plymouth Theatre Royal in The Master and Margarita (Complicite) and before that in Shockheaded Peter (Olivier Award for Best Entertainment). Her recent theatre credits include Cyrano de Bergerac (Southwark Playhouse), Far Away (Young Vic), The Hudsucker Proxy (Nuffield/Liverpool Everyman), Jedermann-Everyman (Salzburg Festspiele), Emil and the Detectives, Greenland, Our Class, A Matter of Life and Death (National Theatre), The Empress, Othello, Rough Magyck (RSC), Strange Poetry, A Dogs Heart, Measure for Measure (Complicite), Brief Encounter (Kneehigh, Birmingham REP and West End) and Tonight at 8.30 (Chichester Festival Theatre). Her film and television credits include Some Candid Observations on the Eve of the End of the World, Casanova, A Fantastic Fear of Everything, Alice, Chernobyl, Calcium Kid, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and Smack the Pony.

Michael Fentiman directs. His credits include Minotaur (Polka Theatre and Theatr Clwyd), The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, Ahasverus (RSC), The Comedy of Errors (Cambridge Arts Theatre), The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Kensington Gardens, co-director with Rupert Goold) and Crackers (Belgrade Theatre Coventry). His associate/assistant directing work includes Made In Dagenham (Adelphi Theatre), Hamlet, A Tender Thing, Romeo and Juliet, and As You Like It (RSC).

The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth

01752 267222

12 - 28 May

Press night: 16 May 7:45pm


Evenings: 7:45pm


Previews: £12.70

16 - 28 May: £14.70

Concessions: £10.70

Twitter: @TRPlymouth

Facebook: Theatre Royal Plymouth

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