Dogstar TheatreIt is not very often that UK theatre groups travel out to Ukraine so we were particularly delighted to hear that the Dogstar Theatre Company is preparing to tour Ukraine in October with Matthew Zajac's international hit, The Tailor of Inverness.  This is a play about Mathew's father, Mateusz, who was born in 1919 in the village of Hnilowody, now in the Ternopil Oblast of Western Ukraine.  Mateusz's father was a Pole, his mother a Ukrainian.

Tailor of InvernessThe play tells the moving story of pre-war Halychyna and the great upheaval of the Second World War through the story of one man's journey, a journey forced upon so many Ukrainians and Poles during those terrible years.  The production has won numerous awards and has recently toured Scotlland (extensively), Australia and Sweden.

If you are in Ukraine in October (or have relatives or friends in the area), the dates of the theatre's performances are as follows:

6th  & 7th - Golden Lion theatre Festival, Lviv
8th - Pidhaiytsi (town near Hnilowody where Mateusz trained to be a tailor)
11th & 12th - Volhynia University, Lutsk
14th,16th & 17th - Kyiv-Mohyla University

The show will then move on to the Konfrontacje Teatralne Festival in Lublin, Poland (21st), Zielona Gora University (25th) and to the English Theatre in Berlin (26th - 30th).

For your information we are reproducing below a list of awards that the production has received together with some press quotes:

The Tailor of Inverness by Matthew Zajac

Winner Best Actor, Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) 2009

Winner Scotsman Fringe First Award 2008

Winner Best Solo Performer The Stage Edinburgh Festival Fringe Awards 2008

Winner of the inaugural Holden Street Theatres Award (Adelaide) 2008

Nominated for Best Theatre Production and Best Theatre Performance 2009 Adelaide Fringe




“… a beautifully realised tale of the reality of survival in war-torn Eastern Europe … Matthew Zajac’s moving performance is a triumph of evocative staging and storytelling.”
Katie Toms, The Observer 2008


“… in Zajac’s simple, beautiful presentation and performance we feel his sense of self first challenged, then enriched”. (Ian Shuttleworth)

Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times 2008


“… a brave biographical piece … that has succeeded in turning a deeply personal family story into a universal work of theatre”.
Mark Brown, The Sunday Herald 2008


“Zajac sews up the story superbly … this is a compelling and magical piece of theatre.”
Nell Nelson, Edinburgh Evening News 2008


“If you want to see something of current Scottish theatre at its very best, get thee to the Assembly Rooms for this diamond sharp wee number.”

Bill Dunlop, 2008


“Beautifully performed, and directed… this is a deeply affecting piece of personal theatre that I heartily recommend.”

London Evening Standard 2008


“In case it isn’t clear yet my advice is don’t miss it.  It’s the most satisfying seventy five minutes that I’ve spent in the theatre in a long time. “

Myk Mykyta, Radio Adelaide Arts Breakfast 2009


“This was a play which fully deserved its capacity audience and an artistic achievement which Inverness should be proud of.”

Calum Macleod, Inverness Courier 2009


  “… in  Ben Harrison’s graceful production, the telling of the tale is both strongly theatrical and visually compelling, with subtle use of light and sound, video and still images, and the wonderful live fiddle music of Gavin Marwick”.
Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman 2008


“… it is both familiar and unpredictable, challenging yet funny, epic but also profoundly moving … It carries heart-rending poems in hidden pockets and you should definitely try it on.”
Duska Radosavljevic, The Stage 2008


“… a captivating piece of theatre … [Zajac’s] bravura performance takes centre-stage … Director Ben Harrison foregrounds the storytelling without sacrificing theatrical interest … a must-see”.

Kenny Mathieson, The Inverness Courier 2008


“Gripping and evocative, The Tailor of Inverness ….has a lot to live up to after winning three awards at the Edinburgh Fringe, but it doesn't disappoint.”

Rachel Broadley, The Fix, Adelaide 2009


“…brilliantly encapsulates the effects of war on individuals, families and societies As the truth becomes less and less certain, so the fracturing impact of the war grows more tangible, lending this touching personal story the grand metaphorical weight of 20th century history. All this and live fiddle too.”  Mark Fisher, The List 2008


Robert Dawson Scott, The Times 2008


Neil Cooper, The Herald 2009


“This was an absolutely superb play, delightfully written and performed terrifically.  It's the sort of theatrical experience that all productions should aspire to, but very few manage to achieve. If it ever comes back to Inverness, then make sure you do get a ticket to see it."

Bernard Salmon, Highland News 2009


“ … a stunning realisation of the one-man form … visually breathtaking in its simplicity”.

Yasmin Sulaiman, 2008


“…powerful, emotional, captivating with an awakening text and an exceptional performance.”

Marija Perejma, Latvietis, Australia 2009


“The Tailor of Inverness is exactly the kind of show one hopes to experience in a Fringe festival.” 

Greg Elliott, Independent Weekly Review, Adelaide 2009


“... theatre at its best … achieves more power, humour and inventiveness in its 75 minutes than most full-length plays manage in three hours … Zajac’s performance is phenomenal. It is easy to get swept away by the narratives, the numerous characters and the constant theatrical surprises that Harrison and Zajac create … personal, creative and mesmerising. This should not be missed.”

Michael Cox, 2008


Ukrayinska Dumka


Great Britain The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain has many branches throughout the country. Select a branch below to find out more information.