(Miriam Elder's article appeared in the Guardian, 5/31.)

Riot police on the stage of the Mariinsky, missiles rolling across the Bolshoi – opposition to Vladimir Putin's rule has suffused Russian culture to such a degree that it has reached the stages of the country's most vaunted theatres.

Last weekend, the latest production to allude to the opposition protests that have brought tens of thousands onto the streets of Moscow opened at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Putin's hometown.


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