On 4 July the charity evening of reading a new play ‘The Only Tallest Trees on Earth’ by playwright and director Ivan Vyrypaev, organised by Bird & Carrot Productions and Alexandrina Markvo in support of Gift of Life, has helped raise over £20,000 for children with cancer and haematological diseases in Russia.



Starring amazing actresses Chulpan Khamatova and Karolina Grushka, this sold-out London premiere was hosted at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill. More than 200 guests - connoisseurs of modern European drama – attended the reading. Among them were theatre director Ramin Gray, producer and journalist Mikhail Kozyrev, film director and screenwriter Ilya Khrzhanovsky, Gift of Life co-founder and Trustee Lyuba Galkina, Gift of Life Trustee Vadim Levin, businesswoman Ekaterina Dubovaya, philanthropist and art collector Vladimir Tsarenkov with wife Irina, entrepreneur Konstantin Sidorov and many others.


Ivan Vyrypaev with Chulpan Khamatova


Karolina Grushka


Theatrical reading does not involve costumes, scenery and mise-en-scenes. Nevertheless, the story of the so-called "quantum man" who feels the whole amazing design of the Universe in himself was told in a coherent and bright manner. The artists carry on working on the play to stage a drama performance one day.



The readings were followed by a Q&A session with the playwright and the actresses, during which Chulpan Khamatova, as the founder of Podari Zhizn, the Gift of Life sister charity in Russia, acknowledged new challenges embraced by Podari Zhizn since recently and thanked Gift of Life donors and friends for their incredible support helping save children's lives.

Khamatova highlighted that both charities had been working together for years to give a helping hand to children and their families in great need. She noted how exceedingly expensive and difficult it had become to deliver most effective cancer medications to Moscow without direct flights between Europe and Russia. The logistics routes had to be reset completely. Despite all these challenges, the charity believes that with the donors’ support children with cancer in Russian can have access to treatment and stay alive.  

The funds raised at the event will enable Gift of Life to cover the costs of rare cancer drugs, unavailable in Russia but necessary to treat certain types of childhood cancer, especially neuroblastoma and leukaemia.


Alexandrina Markvo


Karolina Grushka, Ivan Vyrypaev, Chulpan Khamatova, Lyuba Galkina


Gift of Life is endlessly grateful to Khamatova, Grushka and Vyrypaev for granting their time and talent to support the charity. Huge thanks to Markvo and Bird & Carrot Productions for arranging this amazing evening and to all the guests and friends of the charity for standing with Gift of Life in this turbulent time.

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