Larisa and the Merchants

Alexander Ostrovsky
Translated by Samuel Adamson
Date Published
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The Value of Something is Never its Price

In a trading town on the banks of the river, penniless Larisa is desperate to marry and escape heartbreak and humiliation. But in this brutal world of transactions true love has no worth. Larisa is up for sale and the local merchants want a bargain.

Samuel Adamson’s version of Alexander Ostrovsky’s rarely seen, sharp and darkly funny play Larisa and the Merchants, premiered at the Arcola in May 2013, produced by InSite Performance.

Critic Reviews

A vibrant and nimble production with a coterie of semi-grotesque characters and uneasy cash-sex nexus highlighted by violent, erotically charged movement to live gypsy music. But when the coarse laughter turns vicious, there's still a pungent whiff of blood and bile.

The Times
Critic Reviews

As jubilant as it is tragic.

Critic Reviews

A superbly judged, cutting social satire.

Critic Reviews

Driving energy and sharply defined performances.


Alexander Ostrovsky (1823-1886) was born into a merchant family in Russia. He wrote 40 prose and 8 verse plays. His acknowledged masterpieces are The Storm (1860) and The Forest (1871).

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