Dissident Voices

26 Jun - 7.00pm

Celebrating Writers

Produced and presented by The Cockpit in collaboration with PEN International, with Peter Marinker and Kristin Milward

A monthly program of readings giving voice to dissident writers, past and present. In collaboration with PEN International. 

Saturday 26 June at 7pm: 
All about Eve - a feminist look at Milton’s Paradise Lost thanks to Marilyn French.

Hosted Live Online on Zoom.

"Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey
Before his voice? or was she made thy guide,
Superior, or but equal, that to her
Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place
Wherein God set thee above her made of thee,
And for thee, whose perfection far excelled
Hers in all real dignity?"   -  Book Nine of Paradise Lost

Tickets are £5:00 and available here.

Saturday 31 July  at 7pm: 
A Second Nero's Burning of Rome

Hosted in person in Studio 1, and live online.   

(We had originally planned for this to be on Saturday 29th May 2021. So if you've seen that now outdated information via our newsletter or our social channels, sorry about that! Any tickets purchased can still be used for the live show on Saturday 31st July 2021, or we will happily refund you.)

Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen and Etty Hillesum were two extraordinary diarists writing during the war.  One was a Prussian nobleman with all the attitudes of his class, whose hatred and contempt for the Nazis elevated his prose to heights of prophecy as well as genius.

Etty Hillesum was a young Jewish woman, whose family had lived in Holland for hundreds of years.  She was of her time: emancipated, educated, urbane, with a bohemian lifestyle and a circle of interesting friends.  She moves from that world to a life of the spirit, driven by a profound belief in God and the sanctity of life.  She chooses not to hide, but to embrace her fate, first at a notorious transit camp in Holland, later at Auschwitz.

Reck was driven by hate; Etty by love.


Previous Broadcasts. 


English translation by JOHN FREEDMAN

First broadcast as a live stream on Saturday 26 March 2021 at 7pm

August 2020.  The streets of Minsk are teeming with protesters, as news gets out that the presidential elections have been rigged.

Thugs have been flown in from all over the ex Soviet Union, they're given free rein to do what they like to the protesters - terrorise, beat them to death, threaten gang rape.

A manicurist and a football hooligan meet in a prison van.
The President screams, "If you don't want Lugashenko, you'll get Putin!"
The woman standing against him asks of us all, "What are you willing to do for love?".

Andrei Kureichik wrote this play on the hoof, as events spread like wildfire in Belarus last summer.  It's a damning indictment of a repressive regime, where rigged elections are a commonplace and violence is currency.  The police lob grenades at the protesters, but they just keep on protesting...


Oldster (Lugashenko):  Peter Marinker
Youth (Lugashenko's teenage son, Kostya):  Tom Cawte
Novice (Svetlana Tikhonovskaya):  Polly Misch
Cheerful (Lena): Saffron Coomber
Avian (Roma):  Dikran Tulaine
Corpse (Nikita):  Sam Mac
Mentor (a teacher):  Kristin Milward
Directors: Kristin Milward and Oliver Senton

Peter Marinker was performing Beckett’s poetry in the west of Ireland for publisher, John Calder in 2002 when they decided to form The Godot Company. He has twice a played Vladimir in Waiting for Godot, Mr. Rooney in All That Fall at BAC, A Piece of Monologue at the Traverse, Edinburgh. Film work includes Flight 93, Love Actually, Event Horizon, Judge Dredd, and The Emerald Forest. On radio apart from many plays his poetry readings have been heard on Poetry Please, Night Waves, Words and Music and With Great Pleasure.  He worked with film director John Boorman as dialogue director and coach on Emerald Forest and The Tailor of Panama

Sam Mac Graduated from RADA in 2019. Upon leaving RADA he was in Kenneth
Branagh’s ‘Death On The Nile.’ (Fox UK Productions) He was then ‘East’ in Phil
Willmott’s Tom Browns School Days at the Union Theatre. He has just finished
filming ‘Initiation’ for ‘Restless Content’ playing Foster.

Kristin Milward Trained at RADA.  Has worked at the NT, the RSC and toured all over the world, including working on Broadway for six months, as well as at the Finborough, the Bush and the Old Red Lion here in London. She's worked in tv, radio and film, most recently in ‘A Little Chaos’ directed by Alan Rickman.

Saffron Coomber began professionally acting on screen at age 12. She was accepted on the BA Acting course at RADA and graduated in 2018. Being a winner of the Carleton Hobbs Award meant she was a part of the BBC Radio Drama Company for 5 months, then played Emilia 1 in the Globe's West End transfer of 'Emilia' which led to a Best West End Debut nomination for The Stage Debut Awards. Following this, she worked with director Steve McQueen in his award-winning film 'Lovers Rock', part of the ground-breaking 'Small Axe' series. Pandemic allowing, her next project will be The National's, 'The Corn is Green' in October.

Dikran Tulaine was born in London and arew up in Iraq, Trinidad and USA. He has been a professional actor for 40 years. After training at Drama Centre, he was worked at Citizens Theatre, Royal National, Royal Court, Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Rude Mechanicals, Traverse and more. Dikran is an actor and director, known for Hope & Redemption: The Lena Baker Story (2008), Looper (2012) and D'Arline (2016).

Please donate if you can. Your money goes to fund work - interesting, energetic, passionate theatre and music, which The Cockpit continues collaborating on - not just pay the standing charges on the phone bill. 50% of donations from this series will help promote literature and protect writers at risk through the work of PEN International too. Thank you!


PEN International

PEN International was founded in 1921. PEN was one of the world’s first international non-governmental organisations acknowledged by the United Nations and among the first international bodies advocating for human rights, particularly freedom of expression. From one founding Centre in London, PEN’s network of more than 140 Centres is now rooted in over 100 countries.

This year, PEN marks 100 years of delivering its mission. From its founding by writer and peace activist Catherine Dawson Scott in the wake of war through to the present day, PEN's goal remains the same: to foster tolerance and dialogue across cultures, languages and political affiliations, within and between nations. PEN is a voice for writers silenced in their own countries.

PEN is a worldwide voluntary movement and international charity that connects writers, human rights defenders, and community groups. For the past century, PEN International has successfully worked to celebrate literature, defend freedom of expression, protect writers at risk, support writers in exile, repeal attacks on women writers, and promote equal rights for language communities.

If you would like to learn more about PEN’s work, please do visit their website here. You can support writers globally by donating here too. Thank you for making a difference!

·         Day of the Imprisoned Writer: Every year on 15 November, the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, PEN International calls for urgent international action to protect writers and journalists across the globe, who increasingly find themselves targeted for their peaceful free expression work. https://pen-international.org/protecting-writers-at-risk/day-of-the-impr...

·         Creative Witnesses brings together musicians and creative artists in support of writers who have been imprisoned, harassed, or put at risk because of their commitment to freedom of expression. https://pen-international.org/creative-witnesses-take-action-for-writers...
·         The PEN Award for Freedom of Expression is given in recognitions of writers’ significant contribution to freedom of expression around the world and as a distinction to writers and journalists committed to free speech despite the danger to their own lives. In 2021, The PEN Award for Freedom of Expression was awarded to award winning Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga. the https://pen-international.org/news/tsitsi-dangarembga-wins-the-pen-award...

Full price: £5