THE LITTLE TRAGEDIESRussian Drama Theatre of Udmurtia, Izhevsk
Участник программы «Russian Case» Фестиваля 2016 года
Director: Pyotr Shereshevsky
The Izhevsk experience is an example of transformation of a theatre under a new artistic leadership. Pyotr Shereshevsky tried to cope with one of the most complex dramas in Russian classic literature. He takes a modern approach to the piece, reinvents it with recourse to literary arrangement and interweaving the plots of Pushkin’s four tragedies. The disappointed protagonists from the first three plays of THE LITTLE TRAGEDIES gather around the table in the finale to celebrate A FEAST IN THE TIME OF PLAGUE. Alexander Pushkin`s passions are no less relevant in the contemporary world; on the contrary, they have become more tangible. The Commander comes to Don Juan as a mobster from the police system rather than a statue. Award-winning composer Salieri splits his monologue into “good” thoughts to voice at a press-conference and “bad” ones that he pronounces at home. Mozart, a young boozer, drives the Maestro mad. The Miserly Knight and his son are fighting in an entertainment TV talk-show.
THE LITTLE TRAGEDIES is a production incorporating fantasies based on a number of plays by Pushkin: STONE GUEST, MISERLY KNIGHT and MOZART AND SALIERI.
They are not simply plays, but ingenious parables. Action takes place in faraway times, even for Pushkin himself. But when you come in contact with them, you cannot get rid of the feeling that they are unchangingly up-to-date. Each of them is about the useless and faulty search for the meaning of life. About the simple fact that neither money, nor art, nor the love-hunter's passion can give an answer to the simple childish question: "Why did I come into this world?" And anyone who has faith in their invincibility, who placed themselves as a fetish in the centre of their universe, who has chosen any of these "values" as the sense of their existence, will unavoidably come to a dead-end. Meeting fatum, one's own mortality, the ceiling of possibilities.
The stage space constantly transforms and changes. A click - and the audience sees huge legs of a statue in brown boots. Another click - and we find ourselves in an apartment where the actress is cooking borsch and flirting with her lover. Another moment - and the characters turn into participants of a TV show, where they fight and are filmed by a camera operator. One more minute - and action is taken to a railway station.
The railway station is a place where hundreds of people meet every day, they pass each other, like hair coming through the comb, - explains the director. - It is a place where people's fates, tragedies and joys meet and cross. This is the feeling that we wanted to capture and show in the production. The more so, as we are mixing the fates of different characters coming from different tragedies.