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

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, explored the unique experience of the submariners deep below the Arctic seas, alone, contained, controlled, and yet with Armageddon at their fingertips.

Subsumed in the submarine space, the audience were silent observers to the events as they unfolded, 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 embraced both the epic and the personal, the audience were put at the heart of the submariners’ dramatic journeys, inviting us to share in their anguish, fears, hopes, and predicaments.

With a unique sound design that created the sonic equivalent of a virtual submarine, Kursk was 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 left the viewers both thrilled and haunted.

Kursk 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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Project History