Wormwood is a common herb known in Russian by the name of "Chernobyl". In Catherine Czerkawska's play, radioecologist Natalia revisits Pripyat, the long-abandoned town in Ukraine that had been her home in 1986. Newly built  in 1970, it was a model town in many respects, and people felt privileged to be living there. Since the nuclear accident at nearby Chernobyl in April 1986, Pripyat has been a ghost town.

Natalia reminisces, observed and guided by Artemis.

Husband Viktor, a technical expert

Happy memories of a picknick with friends Stefan, Tanya and Anton in the park.

I miss them all so much...

Artemis probing into Viktor's memory .


  by Catherine Czerkawska


At the opening of the play, radio-ecologist Natalia revisits the town that had been her home years before. She slips away from a group of scientists to relive her very personal memories of those fateful days. We meet her fiancé Viktor who worked at the nuclear plant, her sister Tanya with her fireman husband Stefan, and their son Anton.

"Why did it happen?" - "What would have happened if...?" In search of answers, we are led to explore the "dangerous concept of unlikeliness".


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Performances were January 31st, February 1st, 2nd, 3rd at 7.30pm. Tickets in support of the theatre 6 € (reduced rate for students, pensioners, the unemployed 3€

Fireman Stefan's wife Tanya has nightmares.

Viktor's report of the safety experiment.

... but it was too late. There was no time.

Prophecy from the Book of Revelations: “And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp; ... And the name of the star is called Wormwood."

Nine tonnes of radioactive material shot up into the night sky likeso many missiles.

Beautiful things happening in the night sky.

What about our families? No one would tell us anything.

Why is Stefan not answering the phone?

The train went right past the burning power station.

The last meeting ever, at the hospital.

Last updated May10th, 2023