The Suicide is a 1924 satirical Russian comedy about an unemployed man, Semyon, who contemplates suicide. When his thoughts become known, a variety of zany characters try to persuade him to die in promotion of their cause – including artists, intellectuals, lovers and butchers. All plead their case and hope to gain publicity if Semyon dies in their name.
Nikolai Erdman’s comedy is a testament to the survival instinct of the individual in the face of crushing external and social forces.
When you consider the times in which it was written, the audacity is breathtaking. The Suicide continues to outlive its time in history and its concepts are used in marketing today. It celebrates the will to love, it argues for the right to work, and is filled with wonderful, wild and madcap humour.
The Suicide was banned by Stalin and Erdman was sent to a Siberian work camp for 20 years. The play was never performed in his lifetime. Today it is regarded as one of the finest plays to have come out of Communist Russia. Britain’s longest serving theatre critic, Michael Billington includes it in his collection of “The 101 Greatest Plays”.
The Suicide is directed by Brant Eustice and featuring an outstanding cast including Kate Anolak, Joshua Coldwell, Jess Corrie, Samuel Creighton, Michael Eustice, Ruby Faith, Ron Hoenig, David Lockwood, Callum Logan, Sharon Malujlo, Geoff Revell, Nicole Rutty, Russell Slater, Georgia Stockham, Tom Tassone, Bobbie Viney, and Malcolm Walton.