UK Premiere of Purge by Sofi Oksanen


Borealis Theatre brings Sofi Oksanen's Purge, a startling play of the loss of freedom and the bitter price of survival, to London's Arcola Theatre, 22 February - 24 March.

Originally written for and performed at the National Theatre of Finland, Oksanen transferred the play into a novel, which then came an award-winning international best-seller. The play has been no less popular and the coming months will see twelve separate theatre productions of Purge across Europe. Director Elviga Field's production at the Arcola Theatre marks the first time that the play has been seen in the UK.

Purge is the story of two women, Zara and Aliide, each from different generations troubled by a shameful past, and the dark unspoken history that binds them. Oksanen reveals the fallout from the Soviet occupation of Estonia and the country's independence in 1991 in this powerful drama narrated through multiple story lines.

In conjunction with the UK premiere of Purge, the Estonian Embassy is organising with Borealis Theatre a discussion with Sofi Oksanen on Thursday 23 February. British journalist Viv Groskop will lead the conversation under the topic "Politics Versus the Personal: Totalitarianism Stamps out Love". Other discussants are Robert Service, a fellow of the British Academy and of St Antony's College, Oxford, and Elif Shafak, a Turkish writer, who has been praised as one of today's most unique voices in literature.

The production is supported by the Finnish and Estonian Embassies and it is produced by Borealis Theatre in association with Oblique House. English translation of the play is by Eva Buchwald.


Purge by Sofi Oksanen
Borealis Theatre, in association with Oblique House
Venue: Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL
Dates: 22 February - 24 March 2012
Time: 8.00pm, except Press Night Friday 24 February, 7pm.
Saturday matinees 3, 10, 17, 24 March 3pm

More information:

Arcola Theatre

Politics Versus the Personal: Totalitarianism Stamps out Love

Sofi Oksanen