Alexander Artyomov, Nastasia Khrushchyova


TRU Theatre, St. Petersburg
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2020
Five men from the Russian middle-of-nowhere, wearing sports tracksuits, sing A-B-Cs to the accompaniment of the “Cotton buds” band. Every letter has a rhyme. TRU Theatre invites us to relive every letter anew and to refresh in our memory the aesthetic experience few of us have gone through since familiarizing themselves with the alphabet. TRU Theatre dissects the Russian language and conducts an anthropological study of the Russian soul. The contents are as follows: B – blinis, V – valenki, T – turnips, R – Red Square, E – emptiness.

Anastasia Pauker

The performance uses a special manner of reading, and episodes from “The Story of a Soldier” by Igor Stravinsky, a mimodrama styled to look like fair aesthetics, are chosen as musical accompaniment. The text of the play is poetry ditties which are devoted to each letter of our alphabet. Poetic alphabets are intended for children who have not yet begun to read and are deeply impressed by each letter. This alphabet is addressed to adults: letters and their deepest meanings have to be aesthetically relived and reconsidered. Each poem corresponds to a specific letter. All these elements are present in each of us, forming a kind of “matrix” of Russian people, our cultural code.


In “Russian A.ABC Book”, men in tracksuits shout out into microphones the ditties for each letter of the alphabet to Igor Stravinsky`s music. This can be perceived as a banter about the traditional and modern Russian culture, but it seems that the performance is more complicated because you feel a distinction between what is given with irony and what can be seriously talked about.

Petersburg Theatre Magazine

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