Carlo Gozzi


RAMT, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2020
Director: Oleg Dolin
Set designer: Sergei Yakunin
Oleg Dolin seems to have rediscovered the comedy del arte with this performance.
The delight is brought on by a live orchestra, the planked stage, lanterns hanging around, and, most importantly, the miracle of lightning-fast actor’s transformations. The RAMT courtyard was opened for “La Zobeide”, and it turned out that the audience can be seated on one of the main streets of XXI century Moscow.
It also turned out that telling the plot of Gozzi's play, whose heroes will go through the horrors of trials and deception, yet will discard the shackles of error and wake up to reality, it is now possible to create a satirical comedy with recognizable characters, sharp caricatures and modern masks.
Performers change their papier-mâché masks (everyone, except for the performer in the role of Zobeide, plays several roles in this production) and move the plot of the Italian fairy tale revised by Gozzi forward. Everything will end well, but there will remain a very precise sensation, a barely visible change in the expression of Zobeide’s eyes – a feeling of nostalgia for the childhood, parting with which, one has to part with unconditional faith in man.

Elizaveta Spivakovskaya

Oleg Dolin’s Zobeide contains a lot of fiction, mischief, sarcasm, grim humor, sadness, strong acting, director`s courage and self-confidence, delightful relationships of the designer with the space and the freedom that comes from a detailed, deep knowledge of the era which is shown in the production.

Screen and Stage Weekly

A return to the del arte tradition occurs quite often. Actually, Gozzi himself is already an attempt to reverse, renew the tradition. The Dolin`s performance is not trying to “revive Lazarus”, it is not reincarnation or reconstruction of an old performance, it is a game in del art, a game with the audience, and, at the same time, with actors` cliche. The play figures the performance of the not very successful troupe, still traveling in Italy thanks to Gozzi's unexpected dramatic gift and love of the theater. There are few actors in the play, they have to play several roles and neglect gender compliance. Music written before Gozzi's tale, and much later: Jean-Baptiste Lully, Claudio Monteverdi, Gabriel Foret, Johann Sebastian Bach sound in the performance.

Theatre Magazine

The little-known play by Carlo Gozzi “Zobeida” is an ideal model to talk about today's problems, but to do it laughing, almost stamping your feet with delight and enjoying the entrancing atmosphere of pure convention.

Moskovskaya Pravda Dayly

There is no fourth wall, the actors are located at the arm's length and directly address the audience. There is a certain mixture of energy flows, some kind of direct communication, implication and, of course, fun - it is a comedy, though unfortunate Zobeida was saved but left without love. In the poetic text of the eighteenth century, "silly" jokes with references to our Russian realities sound time and again. Actors masterfully play any unforeseen situation, whether it is the sound of a motorcycle from the Bolshaya Dmitrovka street, a couple of rain drops or unruly clasps of a suit. From the very beginning up to the end of the performance, without slowing down, they play with obvious pleasure and excitement. Their mood is instantly transmitted to the audience and does not let go even after the end of the action.


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