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Underground Belarusian Theater To Perfom In London

Belarusian Free Theater participants Natallya Kalyada, Mikalay Khalezin, and Uladzimir Shcherban will be performing at London's Young Vic Theatre on December 5.
MINSK -- The underground Belarusian Free Theater (BST) will stage two performances in London on December 5, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Prominent actors Jude Law, Ian McKellen, and Samuel West are all scheduled to make guest appearances in the performances in London's Young Vic Theater.

Director and company founder Mikalay Khalezin told RFE/RL that the plays -- his "Discover Love" and "Numbers" by Uladzimer Shcherban -- will show the situation faced by contemporary Belarusians under the rule of authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Khalezin added that the performances are part of a campaign by the Index on Censorship group to highlight the state of free expression in Belarus and a show of solidarity from Britain's arts community.

The theater group was set up by Khalezin and Natallya Kalyada in 2005. Although the theater has to perform underground, as it has never been officially registered in Belarus, it is well known abroad. Its supporters and patrons include playwright Tom Stoppard, rock singer Mick Jagger, and former Czech President Václav Havel.

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