The Girl Who Loved Stalin

“A rough guide to romancing, wining, dining and wooing a communist dictator – whether they’re the real thing or a curly-haired soldier with a self-esteem problem in a cheap costume. Four stories of unconventional romance in Soviet Russia. From a bawdy housewife to a sex-crazed German soldier, this is a coming of age story about loving your country – maybe a bit too much. Boris is a man whose love life has been about as successful as a North Korean missile system. He decides to sign up to a dating website called “The” which promises love, lust and laughs but finds himself dragged across the crumbling Soviet Union by a gay Ketamine dealer called Grigori who only became a matchmaker because he was promised £34 an hour. Will Boris ever meet his match? Is all love destined to fail? Will Communist rule in the Ukraine disintegrate? All questions “The Girl Who Loved Stalin” hopes to answer. “

Slipshod (then known in it’s infancy as Campfire Stories Theatre Co.) landed onto the EdFringe stage with a bold debut performance.

At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017, The Girl Who Loved Stalin pulled apart the modern perceptions of romance in an albeit roundabout way. The original script, written by Jake Mace, blended with audience interaction and occasional improvisation alongside a biting satirical wit and many wild characters – all played by a cast of five. Under the swift co-direction of Tapuwa Pswarayi and Mike Dorey, the show thrived with a lively atmosphere and aimed to leave the audience writhing in laughter and somewhat existential self-doubt. 

Inventively staged to be performed on a 4×2 metre stage, Technical Director Aden Craig evoked images of propaganda, the digital world and a cramped tech startup office through a blend of creative lighting, set and costumes ranging from old Red Army military jackets to a flaunty floral nightgown. The cast brought to life a myriad of interesting characters. Aditi Mohan debuted as Valeria, Boris’ first match and a raunchy Stalin-obsessed socialite heiress. Livvie Newman bounded from her recent research project on sketch comedy in modern media to create Elena, a haughty Crimean housewife almost always on the brink of an erotic euphemism. Puwa Nkomo-Pswarayi glittered as the metrosexual Corporal and Father while Jake Mace put together an eclectic and witty creation in sidekick Grigori. Mike Dorey (Hamlet, 2016, Discarded Nut Theatre, Theatre Royal Winchester) starred as the unfortunate Boris, a flailing, hopeless romantic whose schadenfreude-inducing performance invoked laughter to audiences from across the world.

“Everyone has fun, both on stage and off of it, that is clear, and the joy with which these five pull of their un-PC antics is crazily infectious.”

The Outlier Scotland on The Girl Who Loved Stalin