The Promise

By Nick Dear after Alexei Arbuzov
Director Simon Stone
Translator Ariadne Nicolaeff

  • Venue Upstairs Theatre
  • Dates 15 July – 23 Aug 2009

    The Siege of Leningrad, 1942. In a broken-down apartment in the middle of one of the longest and most destructive battles in human history, two teenage boys fall in love with the same girl.

    Passionate, terrible and wonderful, Alexei Arbuzov’s The Promise is a rediscovered masterpiece of the twentieth century. Arbuzov covers thirteen years in the lives of these young lovers, filling their hopeless situation with hope and watching them grapple with the idea that the future is always a better place.

    Simon Stone last appeared on the mainstage at Belvoir St in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. He’s been blazing a path as a director in Melbourne with acclaimed, full-blooded productions of Wedekind’s Spring Awakening (which visited our Downstairs Theatre in 2008) and Chekhov’s Platonov. Here he directed three of Australia’s finest young actors in a special Company B unearthing of Arbuzov’s great play.

    With startling freshness, The Promise asked that magnificent Russian question that has set the Belvoir St stage spinning time and again over the years: How do we live the life we yearn for?


    Original Play by Alexei Arbuzov
    New Version by Nick Dear
    Based on the Translation by Ariadne Nicolaeff
    Director Simon Stone
    Set Designer Adam Gardnir
    Costume Designer Mel Page
    Lighting Designer Niklas Pajanti
    Composer & Sound Designer Hamish Michael
    Sound Consultant Steve Francis
    Fight Choreographer Gavin Robins
    Stage Manager Luke McGettigan
    Assistant Stage Manager Mel Dyer


    Alison Bell
    Ewen Leslie
    Chris Ryan

    Production images by Heidrun Lohr


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