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Directed by
Mark Espinner and Dan Jones
27 Jun - 6 Oct 2011

Project History

A Young Vic and Fuel co-production

Sound&Fury’s in collaboration with Bryony Lavery

Commissioned by the Cambridge Junction

In 2000, a Russian submarine, the Kursk, suffered a huge explosion that ripped the bow apart and sent the vessel to the seabed. Inspired by this tragic event, Sound&Fury and award-winning playwright, Bryony Lavery, explore the unique experience of the submariner deep below the Arctic seas, alone, contained, controlled and yet with Armageddon at their fingertips.

Subsumed in the submarine space, the audience are silent observers to the events as they unfold, complicit to the world of secrecy and codes, witnesses to the last minutes of the Kursk.

Using a highly novel and engaging stage design that embraces both the epic and the personal, the audience are put at the heart of the submariners’ dramatic journeys, inviting us to share in their anguish, fears, hopes and predicaments.

With unique sound design that creates the sonic equivalent of a virtual submarine, Kursk is an authentic and emotionally rich voyage into the icy depths of the Barents Sea and the dark recesses of the imagination. At once a poetic trip through the hidden world of the submariner and an exploration of human survival that leaves the viewer both thrilled and haunted.

Kursk was premiered at the Young Vic in London to sell out audiences, in June 2009, and was subsequently selected to be part of the British Council Showcase at the Edinburgh Festival. It went on to complete a UK tour in 2010 that culminated in another sell-out run at the Young Vic in

London. In October 2010, Kursk played at Sydney Opera House Studio Theatre to great critical acclaim.

Kursk has been nominated for Best Off West End Production in the Whatsonstage Awards, Evening Standard Award for Best Design, and a TMA Award for best Touring Production. Dan Jones was awarded the Prague Quadrennial Special Prize for Excellence in Sound Design representing the UK 2011.


"“The most brilliantly immersive piece of theatre I’ve seen all year... An unforgettable homage to the men of the Kursk, and all their kind”"

The Daily Telegraph


The Evening Standard

""Kursk is an exceptional piece of theatre""

Time Out

"“Wholly original...What is impressive is the seamless merging of human interest and scenic excitement...simply terrific.”"

The Guardian

"“An absorbing, even riveting glimpse into dark, secret places.”"

The Times

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