A theatre premiere is to take place in the “Mir” cultural centre, an entire provincial town is talking about it. Heated discussions take place before the staging has even occurred. In addition to members of the local art scene, school classes are invited, a member of the government has even made the journey. Yet shortly after it begins the building is occupied by terrorists and the audience taken hostage.
The theatre is locked down and explosives are installed. Muslim spectators are allowed to leave the auditorium. Mobile phones are collected from the others. Initially the slightest resistance from the audience and employees leads to violence. Subsequently however the conflict shifts to discussions between a teacher and one of the hostage-takers. Differences of opinion arise among the students and teachers. The attackers are also far from unanimous. There seem to be two different plans for the attack, something only the core nucleus of terrorists is aware of. The presence of a member of the police special forces in the theatre gives these a chance to intervene. Against the backdrop of the occupation of the Nord-Ost musical theatre in Moscow by terrorists in 2002, Alexey R. Petrukhin presents a gripping thriller inclusive of a philosophical, ethical treatment of the issue in well-performed dialogues. MM