‘I spend the night in an officer’s barracks, where no woman has ever set foot.’
In the darkest recesses of Ukraine, a war is raging.
A journalist takes a research trip to the front line. Teenage girls wait for soldiers on benches. A medic mourns her lover killed in action.
Natal’ya Vorozhbit’s play Bad Roads is a heartbreaking, powerful and bitterly comic account of what it is to be a woman in wartime.
It was premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, in November 2017, in a production directed by Vicky Featherstone. It was developed by the Royal Court International Department, and translated by Sasha Dugdale.
Natal’ya Vorozhbit is the leading Ukrainian playwright of her generation and has worked with the Royal Court since 2004. Her work includes The Khomenko Family Chronicles, Maidan Diaries (Royal Court) and The Grain Store (RSC).
‘Complex and compelling… an all-too-vivid vision of what it is to be a woman in wartime’
— The Times
‘A savage look at the dehumanising impact of war… swings between matter-of-fact horror and bitter comedy… masterly and woundingly memorable’
‘Despite its grim subject matter, the play is often surprisingly still and quiet, and occasionally funny too… hammer[s] home the losses, desperations, brutal necessities and impossible resiliences of women in war’
— The Stage
‘The patchwork of stories and images creates a powerful, occasionally indelible, picture of contemporary warfare… thought-provoking and frightening’
— The Arts Desk
‘Powerful… in her relentless focus on conflict’s female victims, Vorozhbit shows herself to be a Ukrainian Sarah Kane’
‘An urgent, visceral piece’
— Exeunt Magazine