Irina Tarasova, Russian arts minister, has announced a five-point tick-box that will be distributed to audiences at state-sponsored theatres from next year. She said that those theatres which get low audience ratings will be penalised with loss of subsidy.
She added: ‘If the state spends 30 million rubles on a production, it has the right to take into account audience reaction when most of the reviews are negative.’
Reaction from cultural leaders has been predictably hostile. One artistic director said: ‘In theatre there is no ‘like’ and ‘don’t like’. We are dealing with more sensitive distinctions. The state should fund innovation.’