THE KARAMAZOVSMoscow Art Theatre
Участник программы «Russian Case» Фестиваля 2019 года
Duration: 4 h. 30 min.
Age category 18+
Konstantin Bogomolov directed his flagship stage version of Dostoyevsky novel in the style of Vladimir Sorokin’s late prose with its urge to deconstruct the Russian reality, jeering intermixture of the high and the low, depreciation of the habitual and therefore ineffective values.
The five-hour performance is structured partially as a collage of attractions combined with mocking the charisma of the Soviet and Western hit songs. On the other hand “The Karamazovs” largely consists of the sinful father’s conversations with his ungrateful sons; of the seeker of faith with the potential guru; of the victim with the executioner; of the holier-than-thou with the seductress. The close-ups of the actors telecast on three plasma screens combined with intense presentation of their spiritless existence create the key suspense of the performance.
Bogomolov has disrupted the situation of the society’s continual negligence of the repertory theatres as lacking the potential for making strong and relevant statements. The scandal that followed the premiere has been in the focus of attention of all the national media was the result not of the director’s disagreements with the MAT management but of the pre-announced non-normativity. After the last year’s “Ideal Husband” at which the Orthodox activists are regularly carrying out their protest actions, this stage version of Dostoyevsky has become one more powerful irritant that offered the public a harsh and grotesque copy of the present-day Russian reality.
This performance is made like a provocative pamphlet that most spitefully ridicules our modern society. The Karamazov story is presented not as a theme for a school composition, but as an inborn Russian bent for lustful self-torture and for torturing one’s near and dear ones, a lust for criminal behavior laid in the mosaic gold of prudish piety.
Alyona Karas, Rossiyskaya Gazeta
The upper layer of this multilayered cake is the satirical presentation of the Russian life. The action unfolds in the town with the name that can be translated as Beastville. This town in Bogomolov’s production becomes the source of artless jokes that are too artless to be taken seriously. Everything is beastly in Beastville – beastly cops, beastly bank, beastly TV. The sun never shines here and Feodor Karamazov is an owner of a network of sun-parlors. In Frank Castorf’s “The Idiot” every character sooner or later becomes an idiot and starts convulsing in epilepsy. And in Bogomolov’s town every resident sooner or later reveals some beastly qualities.
Marina Davydova, Colta.ru