Life and Fate tickets


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The legendary Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg - described by Peter Brook as ‘the finest ensemble theatre in Europe’ - returns to London this spring for a strictly limited engagement for the first time in over a decade. 


“Beautiful, terrifying, draining – and resoundingly contemporary” - Financial Times  

It’s early 1943. Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia are in a bitter struggle for their very survival. Life and Fate is a sweeping panorama of Soviet Society, an epic tale of a country told through the fate of a single Jewish family, the Shtrums. 

Vasily Grossman’s celebrated novel, banned because of the parallels it drew between Nazism and Soviet Communism, is being adapted for the stage for the very first time. From Nazi concentration camps to the Gulags of Siberia and the Soviet nuclear programme, the battle of Stalingrad looms large as the characters work out their destinies in a world torn by ideological tyranny and war. 

This critically acclaimed production, winner of the Golden Mask for best play, has toured around the world to great acclaim since 2007 and comes to London for the first time. 

*Both productions will be performed in Russian with English surtitles* 

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ "Sergey Kuryshev shines as a nuclear scientist stuck in a moral maze in this vivid staging of Vasily Grossman’s sprawling novel" - The Guardian

★ ★ ★ ★ "A wearying first half paves the way for a complex and vivid display by an extraordinary ensemble" - The Times

★ ★ ★ ★ - The Telegraph 

Customer Reviews

28 reviews
Hermione Sacks
Verified purchase
22 May 2018

An excellent production - superb presentation, acting and use of stage. The main threads of the story came through well, a difficult thing to do on stage but all essentials were there and even if one hadn't read the book or remembered all the details, the production allowed the audience to feel part of what was happening on stage and in a very lively and moving way. Congratulations.

Verified purchase
21 May 2018

Very clever and unusual staging with just one set used for multiple scenes, some overlapping. A very good distillation of the themes of the original Life and Fate novel. Fine acting, which shone through, even though the script had to be read in surtitles. Overall, excellent theatrical experience.

Sideg Saksnizdurg
Verified purchase
21 May 2018

A faithful adaptation of the novel performed by an extraordinary cast in an imaginative production

Paul Brennen
Verified purchase
20 May 2018

the most wonderful show

Lottie Hoare
Verified purchase
20 May 2018

This was an amazing play. I went with very little prior knowledge of the author and no experience of listening to a play in Russian but none of that mattered. I was spellbound. The attention to detail with the set and the expressive voices and the closeness of understanding between the Maly actors was captivating. We are lucky that they made this trip to London.



Haymarket. SW1Y 4HT.

Cancellation Policy

No exchanges or refunds available after purchase. 


200 mins with interva

How Does It Work

You will receive a confirmation email. Please print this email and bring it with you and present to the Box Office. We recommend you arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before the show.

Suitable For Children

16 +  

Life & Fate contains nudity 

When Can I Go

Life and Fate 

Tuesday 8th May 7pm

Wednesday 9th May 7pm

Friday 11th May 7pm

Saturday 12th May 7pm

Friday 18th May 7pm 

Saturday 19th May 7pm 

Sunday 20th May 2.30pm 

Where Do I Go

Theatre Royal Haymarket, 18 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HT. 

By Tube: Piccadilly Circus; Leicester Square or Charing Cross Tube Station