Ukrainian theatre director among the speakers at Shute Festival

Anastazie Toros

Ukrainian theatre director Anastazie Toros - Credit: Anastazie Toros

The Ukrainian theatre director Anastazie Toros will appear at the Shute Festival in June. 

She will lead a workshop and reading of a play on the Ukraine war at the event taking place over the weekend of June 18 and 19. 

Toros, who previously worked in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, is now a liaison between Ukrainian refugees and European educational institutions and community groups. She is a frequent visitor to the South West.  

The play, The Time Traveller’s Guide to Donbas, is written by Anastasia Kosodii, one of Ukraine's most promising playwrights. It is about two time travellers who are trying to get home to Luhansk before the war starts, overcoming numerous obstacles en route.  

Ben Short

Ben Short - Credit: Joya Berrow

The workshop and play reading are among many events at the first Shute Festival weekend to be held in person since the pandemic. Other events include an evening of flamenco dance with Salud Botella and Jason Webster; an immersive talk with Hannah Bourne Taylor on her debut book Fledgling (recently featured on BBC Radio 4); a talk with south west author Ben Short, who abandoned a high-flying city career in advertising to become a charcoal burner; a street dance workshop with Carla Sheills Steenkamp; poetry with Flora Cruft from her newly published I Am a Spider Mother; landscape walks with tree expert Jill Butler and geologist Richard Edmonds; and a travel talk by Hilary Bradt and Janice Booth on their travels in Socotra. 

Festival director Samantha Knights said: “We are thrilled to be able to announce the June Shute Festival line-up with a whirl of dance, poetry, landscape walks, and talks both outdoors and in. After two years of online events, it is very exciting to be able to welcome people to an in-person festival, with such a wide variety of events.” 

 Shute Festival, which was founded in 2016, uses funds raised to sponsor outreach activities in Shute and nearby, particularly in Shute Community Primary School. An Autumn Shute Festival Weekend will also be held on 7-9 October later this year.  

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 Further details about the events, along with tickets, are available at the festival website,