National Theatre in Moscow: Love for Love / Othello / Hobson's Choice

The National Theatre Company in Moscow and Berlin

The National Theatre
The Kremlin Theatre, Moscow - 7th September 1965 (18 performances)
Berlin Festival - 23rd to 28th September 1965 (4 performances - Othello and Love For Love)

  • On September 5th, 1965, Laurence Olivier and 71 members of the National Theatre flew to Moscow. A second plan took sets, props, and costumes. The company performed Othello, Love For Love and Hobson's Choice in repertoire (18 performances) at the 1400 seat Kremlin Theatre. From Moscow they travelled to Berlin for the Berlin Festival for 4 more performances - Othello and Hobson's Choice.

    Not only was this the first foreign tour of the National Theatre it was also the first time a foreign theatre company had performed at the Kremlin Theatre, which was built within the walls of the Kremlin itself. Coming as it did in the Cold War the event was a triumph of cultural diplomacy.

    In most of the world Hamlet is the best known of Shakespeare's plays, but in Russia it is Othello. The company took 15 curtain calls on the first night to a ten-minute standing ovation lead by President Mikoyan.

    Company Members included:
    Sir Laurence Olivier, Robert Lang, Lynn Redgrave, Billie Whitelaw, Colin Blakely, John Stride, Frank Finlay, Geraldine McEwan, Joyce Redman, Madge Ryan, Miles Malleson and Anthony Nicholls