Enough stupidity in every wise manTeatr-Teatr, Perm
Director: Boris Milgram
Age category 16+
Ostrovsky’s play was written during the reign of Alexander II, when careerists and opportunists of all sorts established themselves as a social type that was needed by the power. It is today that the Ministry of Culture tries to defend the classic Ostrovsky. At the time, he stood up for himself as a clever and fearless artist. Boris Milgramm, artistic director of Perm’s Teatr-Teatr, decided in these trying times to stage Ostrovsky’s play as a vaudeville, remembering this forgotten tradition of Russian theatre. The composer Lora Kvint and the poet Nikolai Denisov dressed Ostrovsky’s dialogues in elegant arias and duets, while Viktor Shilkrod’s set design reminds us of the environment of Italian suburbs and Moscow’s Zamoskvorechie area, with their muslin, petit bourgeois atmosphere laden with partition screens and trinkets. The designer seems to further escalate the theme with all these details. The scenes with Manefa turn into a chain of colorful attractions with reprises of other «masks»; circus numbers give way to an energetic cabaret when a sultry Mamaeva triumphantly seduces Glumov, who pretends to be an urban goosey. Rejected by the society he keenly and cynically played with, Glumov freezes for a moment before he says goodbye to his witty and sardonic diary, to his acerbic wit to dissolve into the environment he sneered at not so long ago. This seems much more relevant to the present than other topical expressions.