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In Conversation with playwright and author Michael Frayn

this talk is now SOLD OUT

Michael Frayn is one of the UK's most celebrated playwrights and novelists. He has a long connection to the Soviet Union and Russia. Many of his plays have been performed in Russia, including Democracy in 2016. Frayn's novel The Russian Interpreter is one of the wittiest, most poignant and acerbic books about the British experience of the Soviet Union in the 1960s.

Frayn was born to a deaf asbestos salesman in Mill Hill, a suburb of London, grew up in Ewell, Surrey, and was educated at Kingston Grammar School. Following two years of National Service, during which he learned Russian at the Joint Services School for Linguists, Frayn read Moral Sciences (Philosophy) at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, graduating in 1957. He then worked as a reporter and columnist for The Guardian and The Observer, where he established a reputation as a satirist and comic writer, and began publishing his plays and novels.

He is now considered to be Britain's finest translator of Anton Chekhov - adapting the four major plays (The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard) as well as an early untitled work, which he titled Wild Honey and a number of Chekhov's smaller plays for an evening called The Sneeze.


Arkady Ostrovsky is a Russian-born, British journalist who has spent fifteen years reporting from Moscow, first for the Financial Times and now as Russia Editor for The Economist. He studied Russian theatre history in Moscow and holds a PhD in English Literature from Cambridge University. His translation of Tom Stoppard's trilogy, The Coast of Utopia, has been published and staged in Russia. 

His book, The Invention of Russia: From Gorbachev's Freedom to Putin's War, won the 2016 Orwell Prize for Books and the 2017 Cornelius Ryan Award of the Overseas Press Club of America for the best non-fiction book on international affairs.





This event is part of the Sovremennik season at Pushkin House.