Vladimir Gubaryev. Translated by
Michael Glenny. On stage at The Pit in
London April through June. At the
Mermaid Theatre in London October
through December. Available from
Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1987. 81
A funny thing happened in the London theater this summer with the production of a Russian play called Sarcophagus at The Pit, an intimate little “off-Broadway" type playhouse in the city, far from the West End theaters. Sarcophagus, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, is the work of a Soviet journalist and occasional playwright Vladimir Gubaryev, written within two months of the “worst accident in the world,” at Chernobyl in April 1986. Here at its most poignant is the humor that the nuclear community has always inspired, and in which its opponents are so gravely deficient. The author—an engineer originally who gets his facts right— claims to have been the first reporter on the scene...