Kyiv’s ‘art shelter’ basement theatre heals the scars of war

The bombs fall and the sirens blare but, in a Kyiv basement, rehearsals for the show – about a German town relentlessly attacked during World War Two – go on.

The ProEnglish Theatre’s next performance of The Book of Sirens is today, February 21, three days before the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

It is the latest instalment of theatre founder and Artistic Director Alex Borovenskiy’s creative mission to help heal the scars of conflict and tell the world there is more to Ukraine than survival.

“If we talk about the war through the means of art, this wound will be able to heal much faster. We will not scar. We will not have this trauma for generations,” he told Reuters.

Theatre allowed people to experience trauma in “a non-traumatic way,” added Borovenskiy, whose troupe performs in English.

The theatre is in a basement beneath a four-storey building.

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