Chaika: First Woman in Space

Theatre (drama, new writing)

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  • Accessibility:
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    Sight not needed
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies are not allowed in the venue
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


Discover the true story of Valentina Tereshkova, a young textile worker plucked from obscurity to lead the Soviet Union’s race to the stars. With her nation competing against the United States to put a man on the moon, Tereshkova, (code name – Chaika: Seagull) becomes the first woman in space. However, she immediately encounters a catastrophic mechanical problem that could lead to certain death. Meet Yuri Gagarin, the Soviet Space programme, and discover the secret Tereshkova kept for over 40 years. An uplifting, magical drama about brave young cosmonauts who risked their lives for progress.

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    Sight not needed
  • Accessible entry: If not taking the lift there is a large flight to 1st floor of hotel then a further 4 steps to venue.
  • Wheelchair access type: Standard passenger lift to 1st floor then platform lift up the 4 steps.

  • Stairs: 11- 20
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Erin Moreley 109 days ago

Beautifully staged drama about the life of Valentina Tereshkova, I was moved to tears by this wonderful production.

lawrence Monaghan 111 days ago

"Valentina Tereshkova" Code Name "Chaika " ( Translation Seagull ) A 5 Star Performance by an all Female Cast You will be guided through the amazing true story of the young textile worker who became the First Woman in space Unknown if she would ever return to earth A must See Performance.

Patrick Harrington 112 days ago

Oscar Wilde said: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” That was certainly true of Valentina Tereshkova. She rose from humble beginnings to become the first woman in space. This play tells her story well and was both entertaining and educational. The all-female cast was passionate, confident and accomplished.

Jenny Slangen 112 days ago

Great true (mostly) story, fabulous actors and thoughtful minimalist staging makes, Chaika: First Woman in Space, a great piece of theatre. I especially enjoyed the communist casting which gave each member of the ensemble their time to shine.

Jake McGarry 112 days ago

Had an hour to kill and I’m so glad I decided to see this play! The script is great. A very inspiring story filled with interesting facts about the true to life events. The cast were all very strong, the stage direction was beautiful and the music/lighting was perfectly suited. Highly recommend!

Stuart Forbes 113 days ago

I've always known the story of Valentina Tereshkova but this brought a fresh and very welcome new perspective to her life in I way I never expected. Charming, insightful and moving, I loved it.

Kenny Millson 114 days ago

So glad I went to see this show. I didn't know anything about Valentina Tereskova (Chaika) before the show other than that she was the first woman in space.
The performance of the cast was brilliant taking us through Chaika's early life from childhood to how she was picked from obscurity to perform her historic space mission.
During the performance you get to know Chaika as a friend as you go through all emotions of seriousness, laughter and a moment of sadness for her when there is a huge possibility that Chaika may never return home to earth that brings a tear to the eye.
Well worth going to see this show with fantastic acting by all this female cast.
I also had the pleasure to meet some of the cast after the show 10/10.

Keith Prince 117 days ago

Informative play with different members of the all female cast playing Valentina at different stages of her life. Some nice dialogue in Valentina's reminiscences in later life.

karen 117 days ago

Lots of enthusiasm and engagement from the actors, who really gave it their all. Some nice moments of passion and energy. Otherwise a flat, mediocre show with weak writing and directing. Repetitive and static.

William Nicol 117 days ago

Having known very little of the subject character prior to seeing this show, it left me excited to learn more about her and I was full of admiration for the main character. The all female cast where engaging, enthusiastic, and drew you in to the story. Without giving too much away, each actor played the main character at different stages in her life, all with a subtlety and an obvious understanding of the character they portrayed, but the actor(eve Novak) who played her in space, done so with such emotion and enthusiasm, that my wife was brought to tears. A great show well worth the ticket price.

Stephen 117 days ago

3 words. GO TO IT. Very talented all female actors,no scenery or special effects,but in a way add to enjoyment. Had opportunity to thank members of cast twice outside of venue-not a ''thing'' I always do!

Nancy Workman 118 days ago

No offense to the hardworking performers, but this was a weak show; the script read like the kind of working-class hero narrative the Soviet press used to churn out, and the production was rather static and wooden, despite appealing work by the actresses.

Sheila 121 days ago

Was pleasantly surprised by this show. It did not rely on gimmicks or fancy stage props to hold the audience attention. The storyline is informative and interesting. It flowed from one part to the next seamlessly. I feel that was due not only to the storyline but the ability of the all female cast. I would fully recommend this as a must see show and am not surprised that most of the shows have been a sellout so far. I would give this show 5*.

John Amoore 121 days ago

Chaika, the seagull, but this was not one amongst the vast flocks of gulls, but unique, an individual with pluck and determination. The play follows the story of Valentina Tereshkova, code-named Chaika, as she journeyed from a Russian village to join the Russians training, and vying with each other, to go into space, and becoming the first woman in space.
On one level the play is delightful entertainment, colourful and full of fun and delight as we join Valentina from her tough obscure upbringing, bereft of her father who died when she was very young, to being the unlikely one selected to go into space, famous around the world. With pluck and determination, the actresses tell this story and it was a joy to watch.
But as with so much in the Fringe there were deeper messages. The human’s ability to succeed, to rise above the ordinary – and Valentina orbiting the earth for nearly 3 days certainly did that. It tells how we can be inspired, in this case by listening to Yuri Gagarin becoming the first in space. But there is pathos too: Valentina growing up without a father, but feeling him close beside her as she tackled potential catastrophe on her space flight; of having to keep her mission secret from her mother; of five each vying to be chosen, but only was space for one. And there is nationalism too, the rivalry between the USA and USSR to demonstrate their superiority. But we were reminded of the origins of the space run in the pioneering work of a German during the world war that preceded this voyage into space. We too can be inspired to soar.
As I joined the queue to enter the auditorium I overheard the box-office assistant tell someone that he had the last ticket for the performance. I trust that all enjoyed it as much as I did.

Judy 125 days ago

A beautifully written play with some high energy (at times verging on hammy) performances from the cast. I liked the use of minimal props and the serious subject matter lightened with humourous parts (sometimes poking fun at the absurdity of misogyny). There was a few hiccups such as a total line blank from one of the girls, which deflated the energy of the play a bit. The other girls picked up from where she left off so all was not lost. I'd give it a 3.5/5

Christopher Hume 127 days ago

I don't think I'll ever have the words for this show. A truly inspiring piece that's absolutely packed with talent and intricate writing. If you do not know this true story, you won't find a better introduction. Acting Coach Scotland have worked very hard on this. In fact, I fully recommend going to see all three plays by them (walls and bridges and Leopold Vindictive). I promise you won't regret it. If you're going to the fringe this year, these 3 plays are a must. Five stars from me. :)

Maggie 128 days ago

I haven't seen anything by this group before but, as far as I am concerned, this drama was perfect. It was well-written, concise, the use of minimal props was so impressive - the idea of the girls wearing boiler suits and each one being Chaika (Valentina) at different times in her life was inspired. The cast were so well-rehearsed they made it seem so easy (which I am sure it wasn't). When I went (Tuesday, 6th August) the performance was sold out. May they have many more sell-outs. Extremely well-deserved.

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The Scotsman (3/5 stars) 119 days ago

An all-female cast of seven play the roles of the cosmonauts and those around them through precise, illuminating monologues and subtle physical work, on their own and in tandem; one sequence where a skydive is performed by a character falling onto their comrades’ arms, for example, is tender and beautifully...

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British Theatre Guide (4/5 stars) 120 days ago

Having last year brought the life story of the famed Russian markswoman Lyudmila Pavlichenko in I, Sniper, Acting Coach Scotland has revisited the format, tweaking the formula to great effect. In this case, the Soviet woman in the spotlight is Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to ever travel into space.The...

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The Scotsman (3/5 stars) 122 days ago

An all-female cast of seven play the roles of the cosmonauts and those around them through precise, illuminating monologues and subtle physical work, on their own and in tandem...

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The Wee Review (4/5 stars) 123 days ago

Schoolchildren learn about Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. No one learns the names of those who went after her, or those who nearly went instead of her. Chaika: First Woman in Space, directed by Luke Kernaghan, has a fascinating story to tell. In less than an hour we...

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The Feminist Fringe (4/5 stars) 123 days ago

This piece of theatre explored themes of female strength, femininity, role models and ambition while providing a high quality and understated piece of drama that kept the audience engaged. I left inspired with a want to learn more about the history of women in the space industry. Whether you’re a space lover, history lover or theatre lover (or all three), this production is definitely worth a watch.

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Fest (3/5 stars) 127 days ago

While the story of Valentina Tereshkova’s 1963 solo mission to space may be the stuff of Soviet legend (she spent three days up there and orbited the earth 48 times) it’s a little-known landmark here in the West.  This sparky production from Acting Coach Scotland aims to correct that, repositioning...

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