The Last of the Soviets

Theatre (dark comedy)

  • ZOO Playground - Playground 1
  • 17:45
  • Aug 27
  • 1 hour
  • Suitability: 16+ (Guideline)
  • Country: Czech Republic
  • Group: Spitfire Company
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes
  • Accessibility:
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    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 do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 18 months


Two Russian artists in exile reveal the cruelty of Soviet life with a good dose of dark humour. The award-winning Spitfire return to Edinburgh with a project influenced by the books of Nobel Prize laureate Svetlana Alexievich. Chilling jokes, the absurdity of the situation, and efforts at trivialisation are the key features of a production built on the testimonies of witnesses of wars, the Chernobyl disaster and the collapse of the USSR. Live cinema employing puppet animation and starring food, inspired by works of Jan Švankmajer, provides fitting stylisation.

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Through main door and down a short corridor.
  • Wheelchair access type: Level Access

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

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

Mia L 31 days ago

Wasn't quite sure what to expect from this show and it was a bit more surreal in style than I expected, with a range of small items being arranged by the actors in symbolic scenes captured by a live feed from a camera up on a big screen. For me personally, these symbolic elements were not my cup of tea, but it's very subjective and not at all related to the performers' skill or conviction, which were very powerful to behold. Despite the style not quite working for me, I'm still glad I went because the message and perspective it gave me on Russia today and how it got there was informative, very worthwhile and moving.

James Gordon 36 days ago

A multi-sensory collage of Russia, past and near-present, from a Russian couple now based in Prague. Not an easy watch (how could it be?) but conatantly inventive, and nothing unpleasant is gratuitous. The humour is not exactly black, more Shostakovian grey with shafts of bitter irony, sidewise allusions to things that can't be faced head-on and flashes of violence when pent-up emotions can't be contained any longer. Extracts from war diaries, Soviet propaganda and dissident writers lend authenticity. Some of the close-up live video of scenes created with food, toy soldiers and all sorts of other substances will stick long in the mind.
"Is Russia intellectually capable of the moral re-evaluation of her entire history, like Germanyand Japan after WW2?" we are asked near the end. (Apologies if I misquote. ) The implied answer is No: like her western allies, she didn't enjoy the luxury of annihilating defeat. What hope there is lies in small things like food and drink and cultural artefacts, and in acts of creative protest like this show. You'll get most out of it by sitting in the front row.

I P 38 days ago

So. F***ing. Intense.

You know it’s good when reviews range from “best fringe show” to “worst fringe show”.

It is edgy and makes you feel stuff

John Fuller 40 days ago

Interesting divergence in reviews! For me, this was exactly what a Fringe show should be - challenging, giving fresh international perspectives and superbly well performed. If you want something more familiar, maybe stick with the big name comedians. But if you want something original and available nowhere else, I highly recommend this show and its gifted and charismatic cast

Not a fan 41 days ago

My advice is simple. Avoid any shows by Spitfire group. Do yourself a favour and avoid disappointment. There's so many good shows at the fridge. Pick them. Be happy.

Howard Becke 41 days ago

This is a brilliant show and an unforgettable experience. It is far beyond Dark Humour. If you want a landmark event in your fringe go and see this.

P. Rockery 42 days ago

This show is very courageous. It addresses important subjects that should never be overlooked. This performance is authentic, featuring both fragile and strong visuals pictures by a small camera. It is a highly emotional experience!

S 42 days ago

The most unpleasant experience in Fringe. It is not wether the show itself is good or not,it simply a traumat-driven experience that audience should be warned. It is violent and unpleasant contains “man forcing woman” plot, breaking glass out of a sudden,and many other disturbing scenes

STEPHEN DAVIS 44 days ago

This play is a must for those unfamiliar with the full rottenness and hypocrisy of the late Soviet period and for those who are interested in original and highly effective stage techniques involving food, photography and and the technicalities of the TV studio.

Youssef 44 days ago

Never thought Svetlana Alexievich’s work could be turned into a play. This however was one of the best Fringe shows I’ve ever attended. A must for everyone interested in people’s history of world events

Alan Bell 46 days ago

Be prepared for a psychological rollercoaster. This show employs all the senses to come to the same conclusion…the futility and reality of war and the lies we are told by government. Poignant, haunting, and thought-provoking. The performances of both actors will stay with you forever. An absolute MUST if you’re visiting The Fringe.

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Theatre Travels 35 days ago

we leave with a history lesson we cannot forget.

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The Telegraph (4/5 stars) 36 days ago

Chilling, darkly comic.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.