SUSANNA BY NN RAKSHIN
Sunday 21st June 9pm & Monday 22nd June 7.30pm
One summers evening in the heart of rural/industrial Soviet Union, a group of student’s party in their shabby cramped digs with only a bottle of Havana Club Rum between them. Two alienated figures, Peter and Susanna, sit as silent witnesses to the mayhem of song and dance as the rum in the bottle dwindles and the temperature rises. Uncomfortable truths are unleashed and everyone escapes for the romance of the coast leaving them alone to confront the overwhelming desire that has grown in the silence between them. Peter lays open his heart but when it's her turn, Susanna runs scared and the promise of a great love story is lost to the screeching of gulls outside.
Twenty years later in a multimillion Moscow apartment, Peter, now an ailing rock star, struggles to save his childless marriage to Olga, the daughter of a rich oligarch, under the intrusive gaze of the gutter press. Susanna has inherited a coffee house and runs it with her son Ivan and her husband Arthur, a remarkable opportunist and impresario who’s conducting an affair with Olga. A strike of the security guards at the apartment leaves Peter vulnerable to the outside world as a series of unexpected callers turn up on his doorstep and change his life forever.
With a laconic audacity and great skill N.N. Rakshin has created a story which sweeps across the transition between Communist and free market Russia; taking in major themes from the great tradition of 19th Century Russian literature in it’s wake-free will and destiny, passionate, vain and spiritual loves, the raging tri-partite conflict between the soul, rationality and the heart-all in an odd elegiac and grammatically anarchic vernacular his own.