John, Master Class was terrific – Timothy West played Stalin the time I saw it. As for Russian expats at a play,
I remember seeing a dramatized version of Eugenia Ginsburg’s “Into the Whirlwind” here in New York.
It was a Moscow production and the majority of the audience was Russian and (it seemed) relatively elderly. Most of the play is set within one of Stalin’s jails in 1937, but concludes with a number of the surviving inmates being shipped out to the Gulag. Prison had been so awful that some of them actually saw this as good news, and even as a first step to earning Stalin’s forgiveness for their ’sins’ . As they filed off the stage, gleefully singing some song about the glories of building the socialist motherland, the audience joined in enthusiastically, clapping rhythmically as they did so. People find nostalgia where they can, I suppose, but it was an eerie and disconcerting moment.