Review: Pussy Riot - Riot Days

Time to riot

★★★★
theatre review (adelaide) | Read in About 1 minute
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Pussy Riot
Published 02 Mar 2019

Russian punk collective Pussy Riot's theatre art piece Riot Days is a surging revolt against Vladimir Putin's dictatorship and a universal call to arms to wreak havoc on societal complacency.

Backdropped by raw video footage of the group's protests and arrest, Masha Alyokhina recites excerpts from her memoir. Between this roaring linear narrative the leather and denim-clad anarchists play screeching scores of their better known songs. Ordinarily, Pussy Riot aren't known for their polished musicality. But Nastya Awott adds melody to the madness on saxophone while the group performs with all the gusto the world has come to recognise from their viral videos.

Performed almost entirely in Russian, the backgrounded subtitles aren't easy to see from the mosh, so it's not accessible to everyone; an element of irony considering their take home message: anyone can be Pussy Riot.

Ultimately, Riot Days is a bold and anarchic piece in both its content and its production. Pussy Riot may be remembered for their social impact more than their music but that's sort of the point.