Venichka Erofeev (Venya), cultured alcoholic, self-mocking intellectual, regales us with an account of his ‘heroic’ odyssey from Moscow to provincial Petushki. Stories of his rich, turbulent inner life abound as he staggers through Brezhnev’s Moscow and encounters dangerous, eccentric and often hilarious strangers on a train. His journey ends when fate cruelly intervenes—curtailing the vivid panorama of Russian life that we have seen through Venya’s eyes.
Stephen Mulrine’s adaptation for one actor of Erofeev’s cult novel has been highly acclaimed on BBC Radio 3, at the Edinburgh Festival, London’s West End, and New York in Tom Courtenay’s ‘blissfully funny’ performance.
Venedikt Erofeev was born in 1938 and died in 1990 of throat cancer in a tragic parody of his autobiographical hero’s fate. His fame rests essentially on the novel Moskva—Petushki, written in the 1970s and published in sixteen languages. Born Glasgow, 1937, married with three children, lecturer in History of Art at Glasgow School of Art. Freelance writer, broadcaster and translator. Literary output includes poetry, short stories and criticism, also several original plays for television, and some ninety plus hours of radio drama, serials, adaptations and original plays. His adaptation of Yerofeev's Moscow Stations, published by Oberon Books, has been staged in Edinburgh, London and New York. Since the late 1980’s has concentrated on translation from Russian.