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Play about silenced 1920s gay poet rivets Moscow theatre audiences

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Play tells story of poet Mikhail Kuzmin who disappeared into official obscurity during Soviet era

A play about a largely forgotten gay poet from early 1900s Russia has emerged as the dark horse in this year’s Golden Mask awards, the Oscars of the Russian theatre world.

The Trout Breaks the Ice is based on the story of Mikhail Kuzmin, who disappeared into the official obscurity imposed by the Soviets on artists considered deviant or who were out of favour. The play’s success comes amid fears that the relative freedom enjoyed by Russian theatre is under threat.

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