Technique of Breathing in a Vacuum

Two people sitting on a lawn. They are each holding up a mirror and is dabbing something on their face, wearing a pair of white latex gloves

19th December 2005

Technique of Breathing in a Vacuum by Russian playwright Natalia Moshina, tells the story of a girl and a boy both dying of cancer in a hospice in a Russian province. Staged with a stripped-back aesthetic the play applies a laser-like focus to the psychological and philosophical exploration of what freedom means for young people facing terminal illness and the close certainty of death. In spite of its apolitical subject-matter, this was one of the first of BFT’s stage productions to be prohibited by the KGB. The owners of the original venue were threatened with loss of their licence, so the show was swiftly moved to a private apartment so public performances could continue.

“The cast of young actors, all deeply committed to the performance with the frantic energy of extreme situations. It is the circumstances in which they have to survive that result in this minimum of pauses, the flexibility of bodies, the abstinence of existence ready for any form of conspiration”

Liberation, 22 May 2007