Yury Butusov’s frenetic production abounds in an incredible freedom and openness, delving deep into the throes of artistic creation and the anguish of the artist who struggles to find a language of his own. This is not only a performance about the theatre, it is an anthology of the theatre that devours its children like monsters. With the shuffling of actors’ roles, you begin to sense something of a quadraphonic portrait of the creative personality, which demonstrates that greatness is precariously close to mediocrity while suggesting that the opposite is also true. Chekhov’s characters are in the process of creating their lives or watching them fall apart, which, according to Butusov, may be a closely related activity.
Theatre Art Studio: Sergey Zhenovach’s adaptation of Nikolai Erdman’s comedy centers around a young, unemployed man desperate enough to contemplate ending it all. As soon as he declares his will to die he finds himself surrounded by a variety of characters begging him to kill himself as a gesture for their cause. Flattered by this noteriety but panicked at the prospect of actually having to go through with it, he must find a way out that somehow leaves his dignity intact. The play, originally written in 1928, forms a link in Russian literary history between the satirical mastery of Nikolai Gogol and the post-World War II Theatre of the Absurd.
Rimas Tuminas’ reimagining of Anton Chekhov’s tale about broken illusions and dashed hopes is freed from its traditional trappings, leaving behind a battlefield for passions and colliding ambitions, We are given an empty space from which life has departed, a theatre space with grey slips, a plaster of Paris lion – a symbol of Petersburg, perhaps the ancestor who built the house came from there, a workbench made out of rough boards, an old sofa, several chairs of different colors. This “Uncle Vanya” is about what Chekhov’s characters think and what they admit to only at moments of emotional turmoil. They are at times tongue-tied or overly brutal, but their revelations break out of them fervently, desperately just as a man breaks out of a stuffy room into the open air. A Golden Mask Winner for Best Drama, featuring the inimitable Sergey Makovetskiy as Voynitsky.
The play unfolds in the memory and imagination of Pushkin’s characters. The images are split between past and present, between reality and imagination.The scale of the production constantly shifts from noisy celebrations to secluded contemplation, from crowd scenes to lonely recollections, all of which are drawn together from the past just like the fragments of Tatyana’s love letter, framed and hung on the wall, looming next to and above Onegin’s arm-chair.
Alongside earthly reality another civilization exists parallel to it. Drillalia, the land of the Drill, is inhabited by numerous races, and its people throughout history have traveled to and from Earth, leaving signs of genius behind, while opening up their own world to destruction. We follow the initiation and adventures of a Drillalian Prince – a magician, pagan priest and hero – on a journey through time and space, in an effort to save his people. Boris Yukananov’s visionary modern opera, which perfectly weds drama and music, is an exceptional event in the sphere of new theatre in Moscow.