Anna (4 stars)

This article is from 2013


Badac Theatre present a brutal tour de force

A lift opens and we step inside. Emerging moments later, a stark, sterile basement corridor lies ominously before us. Bright strip lights buzz overhead, as a woman ushers us to stand against the walls. And so it begins: Badac Theatre Company’s harrowing, brutal and at times deeply affecting production of Anna, the story of the life, work and eventual assassination of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Having previously explored domestic violence, artist persecution and the holocaust in their extraordinary body of work, Badac are no cosy documentarians. And this, their latest project highlighting the human right abuses committed during the second Russia / Chechnya war, is no less demanding.

Marnie Baxter is utterly compelling as the increasingly desperate and determined Anna, while the rest of the cast, particularly Saskia Schuck as The Witness, are relentless in their endeavour to show the full horrors of a terrifying autocracy.

Although the events of the piece are very much Anna’s experiences – and those brave enough to tell her their stories – Badac speaks directly to journalists around the world, and the truth-tellers and whistle-blowers silenced and ignored.

This is gruelling, powerful theatre that demands we, the public, listen. Apathy is not an option here.

Summerhall, 0845 874 3001, until 25 Aug (not 12), 8.30pm, £10 (£8).


  • 4 stars

Badac Theatre Company / Escalator East to Edinburgh. Set in and around a lift, the location of her death, Badac's new piece follows the life, work and assassination of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Exploring her exposure of human rights abuses committed during the second Russian/Chechnya war and its aftermath.