Image of puppet holding a gun to his head
World Premiere

Dying For It

New comedy by Moira Buffini
Ticket prices: £6 - £29.5
Thu 8 Mar 2007 - Sat 28 Apr 2007

"The rediscovery of s subversive Soviet classic: deserves a permanent place in the British repertory"

The Guardian

Semyon lives in poverty, in the hallway, his mother in law has the bedroom. He can't find a job and is supported by his wife. What is he to do? 

When his last hope for self-respect disappears, Semyon decides to take his own life.  But word gets out and he finds himself inundated with sympathetic visitors - begging him to die on their behalf.  Suddenly, he’s an important man, and on the night of his proposed suicide, events spiral to a gloriously funny climax.

Dying For It is the world premiere of a new play inspired by Erdman’s celebrated satirical comedy. Moira Buffini is best known for her brilliant comedy Dinner at the National Theatre and the West End. Her other plays include Love Play and Doomsday Girl for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Silence at Birmingham Rep. 

Anna Mackmin directs Dying For It.  Her work includes the critically acclaimed Ghosts at the Gate Theatre, The Lightning Play at the Almeida Theatre, Mammals at the Bush Theatre and Burn, Chatroom & Citizenship at the National Theatre.  

Cast Includes: Tom Brooke, Susan Brown, Dominic Charles - Rouse,
Gil Cohen - Alloro, Charlie Condou, Michelle Dockery, Barnaby Kay, Paul Rider, Tony Rohr, Sophie Stanton, Ronan Vibert, Liz White.

Download the production programme as a PDF document

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The Cast
Photograph of Tom Brooke

Tom Brooke plays Semyon.


His theatre work includes The Long and the Short and the Tall for the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield for which he won the TMA’s 2006 Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Play, After the End for Paines Plough, A Single Act for Hampstead Theatre, Wild East for the Royal Court and Some Voices for the Young Vic. His television work includes Thieves Like Us, Coming Up and D Day Landings.

Photograph of Susan Brown

Susan Brown plays Serafima. 


Her theatre work includes Road and Downfall for the Royal Court, The House of Bernarda Alba for The Gate, Cardiff East and Playing with Fire for the National Theatre and Easter, Romeo and Juliet and Richard III for the RSC.  Her film and television work includes Road, September Song, Prime Suspect, Absolute Hell and Hope and Glory. 

Photograph of Charlie Condou

Charlie Condou plays Viktor. 


His theatre work includes Shopping and Fucking on tour, Cracked for Hampstead Theatre and After the Rain for the Gate.  His film and television work includes Nathan Barley, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, The Impressionists and Charlotte Gray.

Photograph of Michelle Dockery

Michelle Dockery plays Kleopatra. 


Her theatre work includes Pillars of the Community, The UN Inspector and His Dark Materials, all for the National Theatre.  Her television work includes Fingersmith and The Hogfather.

Photograph of Barnaby Kay

Barnaby Kay plays Alexander. 


His theatre work includes Blues for Mr Charlie for the Tricycle, Macbeth at the Albery Theatre, Mouth to Mouth for the Royal Court, Closer for the National Theatre and The Herbal Bed at the Duchess Theatre, as well as many productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company.   His film work includes Conspiracy, Shakespeare in Love, Oscar and Lucinda and Croupier.  His television work includes The Government Inspector, Spooks, Blonde Bombshell and Life As We Know It.

Photograph of Tony Rohr

Tony Rohr plays Father Yelpidy. 


 His theatre work includes The Field for the Tricycle, The Quare Fellow for Oxford Stage Company, The Weir, The Kitchen and Saved, all for the Royal Court, The Painter of Dishonour for the RSC and Bohemian Lights at The Gate.  His film and television work includes The Time of Your Life, Waking The Dead, Titanic Town, Father Ted and Middlemarch.

Photograph of Paul Rider

Paul Rider plays Yegor. 

His theatre work includes Coriolanus at the Globe, Women Beware Women for the RSC, Singer for the Oxford Stage Company, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Albery Theatre and Chicago at the Adelphi, as well as many productions for Bristol Old Vic, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Leicester Haymarket.  His film work includes A Cock and Bull Story and Topsy Turvy.  On television his work includes Doc Martin, French and Saunders, My Family and Murder Most Horrid.

Photograph of Sophie Stanton

Sophie Stanton plays Margarita.  


Her theatre work includes Market Boy for the National Theatre, Breezeblock Park for Liverpool Playhouse and Bright for Soho Theatre.  Her television work includes Fingersmith, Coupling, The Vice and The Unknown Soldier.  Her film work includes Closer, Shadowlands and Beautiful Thing.

Photograph of Ronan Vibert

Ronan Vibert plays Aristarch. 


 His theatre work includes War and Peace for the National Theatre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Bristol Old Vic, Antarctica at the Savoy Theatre and Hello and Goodbye for Theatre Clwyd.  His film and television work includes Rome, Waking the Dead, Mary Shelley, The Pianist, Killing Me Softly and Peter Ackroyd’s London.

Photograph of Liz White

Liz White plays Masha. 


 Her theatre work includes Plasticine for the Royal Court, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors for the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough and Of Mice and Men for Theatre of No Importance.  Her television and film work includes Vera Drake, Vincent, Life on Mars, Teachers and A Thing Called Love.

Gil Cohen-Alloro

Gil Cohen-Alloro plays Oleg


Gil was born in Jerusalem and started his acting career in Peter Pan in Habima Theatre in Tel Aviv. Other theatre work includes The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and A Winter's Tale for the RSC, the UK tour of Okhlahoma! and The Barber of Seville at Bristol Old Vic.



Gil has also directed and staged various shows including A Gala Performance at the Lyceum Theatre and is an experienced choreographer, mime artist and musician.

Dominic Charles-Rouse

Dominic Charles-Rouse plays Stepan


Dominic's theatre work includes Amadee - Or How To Get Rid Of It at the Young Vic,  The Entertianer at Derby Playhouse, Iphigenia and Teeth 'n' Smiles at the Sheffield Crucible. Television work includes Auf Wiedersehen Pet and Absolute Power.

Creative Team


Anna Mackmin


Lez Brotherston


Neil Austin


Stephen Warbeck


John Leonard


Scarlett Mackmin 


"a joyous production...a gloriously frenzied evening" ***** (5 stars)

Time Out, 21 March 2007

Read this review in full


"the rediscovery of a subversive Soviet classic: deserves a permanent place in the British Repertory” **** (4 stars)

The Guardian, 16 March 2007

Read this review in full


“beautifully written comedy…Anna Mackmin’s excellent production is performed with gusto and precision…desperately funny"


The Observer, 18 March 2007

Read this review in full

"induces spasms of laughter… an exuberant, high velocity production" ****  (4 stars)


Evening Standard, 16 March 2007

Read this review in full


"a lively adaptation" **** (4 stars)

The Times, 17 March 2007

Read this review in full


Watch An Extract of Dying For It

London TV filmed a short extract of Dying For It and an interview with Tom Brooke who plays Semyon.

View London TV film clip (this is an external link to London TV's website)


Please note the Almeida Theatre is not responsible for the reliability or content of external links and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them.

Arts Council England ASP Group