What Is It?

Steven Dykes's Chekhov-style play about Estonia is the centrepiece of a fringe festival in Battersea marking the 10th anniversary of the collapse of Communism. NXT's patchy production focuses on the efforts of a well- to-do Russian family to cling on to its status in an independent Estonia.

What They Say About It

"Commendable though his attempt to guide us through the sour complexities of post-Soviet life is, Kolonists sometimes feels about as authentic as those concrete lumps Berliners try to pass off as genuine Wall to gullible tourists... a play like this needs an author who's closer to his subject- matter," Dominic Cavendish, The Independent.

"If Chekhov were still alive, he could probably sue. Steven Dykes's play rips off the Russian master royally, pilfering archetypes and themes from his plays piecemeal, and plonking them down in modern Estonia, where they look both out-of- place and out-of-date," Nick Curtis, Evening Standard.

"It never makes up its mind whether it's a political debate or a skeleton-in-the-family-closet thriller. In an evening of talk, talk, talk, the result is nothing but hot air," Lyn Gardner, The Guardian.

Where You Can See It

Kolonists is at the Bridge Lane Theatre, Bridge Lane, London SW11 (0171-228 8828) to 27 November