his is a gripping romantic tale about an exceptionally talented individual trying to escape from his dark gift. Can we decide who we want to be? Are we in charge of our lives at all?

These, and some other difficult questions are asked—and partly answered here—by the striking characters of Alexander Grin.

Alexander Grin is a unique voice in early 20th century Russian literature. As a young man he spent quite a few years working as a ship-hand and fell in love with the romanticism of sea life. This is probably why when he started writing he invited his readers on a long and exciting journey to the coasts of his imaginary seafaring world.

His stories and novels are full of both good and evil captains, together with courageous sailors that will do just about anything to win the heart of a mysterious maiden. He fills his narratives with real and ghost ships that sometimes bring one luck and other times misfortune.

Were it not for the author's profound craftsmanship all these colourful tales could seem a bit naive; but Grin turns them into deep philosophical parables of astounding beauty.

A Magic Factory production
Performed 7th to 21st March 2006 at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre
Gaisford Street, London NW5

From the original stories by Alexander Grin and adapted for stage by Dimitri Devdariani

Cast: Markus Sinclair, Geertje Dunning, Nicholas Cass-Beggs, Rachel Isaac, Steve Kent, Veronica Ann Duffy

Director: Dimitri Devdariani
Design: Stephen du Toit
Sound/ Lighting: Salem Kapsaski
Artwork: Michael Ward


Following this production a DVD of the performance was lodged with the Grin Museum in the Ukraine. The curator of the museum kindly reviewed the play and a translation follows:

The directorial vision was outstanding and gave the entire production a very clear structure from which emerged a captivating storyline. We would like to express our gratitude to the cast members who gave us an hour of absolute delight. With them we would like to thank the designer, the costume maker and the technical people involved in the making of the production.

It is very touching for us to know that in distant England the word of this Russian author is heard. In 2006 we celebrated the centenary of the beginning of Grin's writing career. Your production for us is a precious gift. Special thanks to you, Dimitry, as it is because of you that the name of Grin is now beginning to be heard in Europe.

With great respect and hope for further collaboration,

Elena Svetlichaja

Curator, Grin's House
Feodosia, Ukraine

Click an image to enlarge