Marina's father Slava was imprisoned in a gulag in the former USSR for printing a pamphlet about freedom.

Marina's father Slava was imprisoned in a gulag in the former USSR for printing a pamphlet about freedom.

Show description

Harold, an elderly English book seller, heard of this injustice via Amnesty International and, noting they shared a birthday, wrote Marina a letter. So began a lifetime of letters and friendship that would sustain and transform two families. They share liberation, tragedy, triumph and love until the fall of the iron curtain that separated them.

From Newbury With Love was adapted from the book of the same name by Anna Horsburgh-Porter and Marina Aidova.

“A stunning and up lifting production, a master class in direction. Sure, innovative and full of so many superb touches" Newbury Weekly News

Credits & Production History

Cast: Yngvild Aspeli, Robin Berry, Ida Jacobsen, Erika Poole, Nicholas Lumley
Youth performers from Newbury Youth Theatre and Aleccu Russo Lyceum, Chisinau
Produced by Turtle Key Arts
Written by Lisle Turner
Directed by Claire Coaché
Co-Designers (set & costume): Tina Bicat & Kate Rigby
Lighting Designer: Aideen Malone
Dramaturg: Ben Samuels
Youth Theatre Directors: Sabina Netherclift & Oli Campbell-Smith
Sound Designer: Shaun Dawson – Turtle Key Arts
Production Manager: Alison King – Turtle Key Arts
Technical Manager & Set Builder: Nick Blower
Puppets designed by Yngvild Aspeli & created by the cast.


From Newbury With Love runs at ninety minutes including a fifteen minute interval.

Commissioned by Corn Exchange Newbury and funded by ACE South-East, Esmee Fairbairn, Oxford University Press, Dillon Trust, West Berkshire Council and Berkshire Community Foundation, Grassroots Grants and Youth Opportunity Fund.

9-12 March 2011, Corn Exchange Newbury

The premiere performance was live streamed around the world via a satellite internet connection and performed in the presence of Marina, Lera and Slava Aidova and Harold and Olive’s children.

The project included cultural exchange visits between 14-18 year olds from Newbury Youth Theatre and the Aleccu Russo School in Moldova. They communicated digitally via Facebook and then in person. They devised and performed a piece of theatre that was incorporated into the play.