The World Stages project is an opportunity for 12 theatres around the UK to support international artists from countries where the artists often experience censorship of their work.

Last year, the Royal Exchange invited Ukrainian director Tamara Trunova to spend time in Manchester with the local Ukrainian community, as well as spend time in the building and experience a range of British theatre.

She now returns to the city, teaming up with North West playwright Lizzie Nunnery to make her UK debut, THE PEOPLE ARE SINGING.

‘It’s not an easy subject, and what I hope I’ve done, is to share with you the greater themes and impact of war because loss of identity and war are not singular to the Ukraine.

I wanted to explore all stories of people caught up in war and how differently they adapt, evolve or even mutate their identities while struggling to survive. Fear, horror and suffering becomes the everyday life, made “normal” by the softly spoken news broadcasters.


It is important to remember we are not only victims of war, but participants through actions, non-actions and even the culprits. Our sometimes neutral position, silence or blind hope, creates the illusion that we are safe, it won’t ever happen to us, and we are not responsible.

I believe the bravest of people and those whose actions can change our society for the better are the people who have the courage to look for and trust their own voice.’ Tamara Trunova, Director

The People Are Singing runs in the Royal Exchange Studio 6-8 April