24 PLUS (age grade)Teatr.doc, Moscow
Участник программы «Russian Case» Фестиваля 2016 года
Director: Mikhail Ugarov, Alexei Zhiryakov
Set designer: Alexandra Lovyannikova
24 PLUS is a co-production of Teatr.doc and the Moscow School of New Film with participation of Mikhail Ugarov’s acting students. The list of characters is deliberately trivial: husband – wife – lover, plus former girlfriends of both men. The canonical development of the action, including suspicion, jealousy and scandal, leads to an extraordinary case of a triple alliance (husband, lover and wife). A love story without rivalry is a Utopia, which the characters consider an ideal society in miniature.
The acting is natural and without any affectation. The absence of the “fourth wall” makes the acting even more truthful. Indeed, the small space of Teatr.doc would make a “fourth wall” rather strange. In 24 PLUS there are no dialogues; the actors communicate only with the audience and occasionally exchange minor cues with each other. The bedroom scene is set as if it were a talk-show: the actors are undressed and interact with the audience as they recline on a bed. The young performers have adopted the rules of the game very well.
The very title of 24 PLUS (age grade) is a Teatr.doc`s mockery of censorship that forbids to use strong language and nude figures. Though the concept of censorship is not as definite as the opposing parties would like to see the authors hyperbolize their mockery in the very title. They set a nonexistent age grade “24 Plus”. They laugh at prohibitions and consider them absurd. It would be more funny if the theatre specified the age restriction as “90 plus”.
The production of 24 PLUS (age grade) by Mikhail Ugarov is a funny, not vulgar and considered story about sexual relations, various complexes of inferiority, love and passion, absurdity of extramarital affairs, spiritual torments and endless loneliness.
St.Peterburg Theatre Journal
…politics has still remained a matter of priority in the most freedom-loving theatre of Russia today. However 24 PLUS is ingenious and convincing evidence that the realm of the senses could be an equally acute, challenging and independent of time topic.
The characters in 24 PLUS are performed by first year students of the Moscow School of New Film. The literary text written by Mikhail Ugarov and Maxim Kurochkin is completed by students` improvisations (what is why the duration of the show varies).
The set looks - partly involuntarily, partly intentionally - provocatively ascetic: chairs, a covered large iron bed, black walls, semi-darkness. A naked space, naked senses, naked people. Everything is in plain view, within touch of hands. Everything is open for viewing and discussing.