Making Stalin Laugh…

The Dragonfly

Making Stalin Laugh, play by David Schneider Making Stalin Laugh, play by David Schneider

So Tuesday night, London, and we’re walking up the Finchley Road in the rain. Warm rain as it’s summer in England and we’re getting used to not freezing every time the heavens open. Destination JW3.  We were schlepping through the rain to see comedian, writer, actor and journalist David Schneider’s new play, Making Stalin Laugh. And it didn’t disappoint. The play accelerates through quick and clever comedy, juxtapositions of humour and reflection, fear-laden anxiety and extraordinary comedic one-liners.

The pace reflects David’s cyclone of a mind to deliver an engaging play on the nearly-forgotten Moscow State Yiddish Theatre. In his words “A Yiddish theatre company that bucked the stereotype”. Chagall designed for them, Eugene O’Neill and Shostakovich admired them. They came up against it when Stalin’s mayhemic regime control changed “state” criteria and made for a paranoid, fear-induced period of accusatory surveillance…

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