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The Promise

it is the 30th of March, 1942 in Leningrad. The German seige has lasted for seven months (it is to continue for a total of 900days). German bombardment has been continuous, everywhere people are staving to death (4,000 died on christmas day 1941; 52,000 that December). In a small room desperate for warmth, food and security, three young people meet accidentally: Lika, 16, Marat, 18, Leonodik, 18. they forge a complex knot of triple love over the next five weeks. then Marat and Leonodik leave to fight.
We next see them again in 1946. Marat, the idealist, is a ‘Hero of the Soviet Union; Leonodik, a poet now, has lost an arm; Lika is studying medicine. The two men force her to choose between them. She, wrongly, chooses the weaker- Leonodik. Thirteen years later they meet again. There is a sense of failure in all of them; a sense of betrayal of the appauling sacrificies of the winter of 1942, and the whole war. It is a warm, funny and truthful play.Â