ЗОЛОТАЯ МАСКА - ФЕСТИВАЛЬ И ПРЕМИЯ
by Nikolai Gogol

THE GAMBLERS

OKOLO Theatre, Moscow
Director Alexei Levinsky

At first sight this classical play about how the able and successful gambler Ikharev was skilfully deceived by a whole company of gamblers seems as instructive as a fable, and its morals are simple: on each card-sharper comes a whole gang of sharpers. But on the stage of the OKOLO (Near) Theatre the story about the card swindle has been transformed into a witty piece of research on the mechanisms of modern business. In Levinsky’s production the game grows into a metaphor for other games – political and economic. People in identical black three-piece suits, which they recently donned and whose baggy fit shows the lack of habit, make them look alike so that one cannot distinguish a footman from a nobleman, a man from a woman, one cheat from another. The general, all-pervasive deceit is important here: deceit is the norm, the law, which deforms and humiliates man. The only stronghold of humanity in “The Gamblers” appears to be the cheater-poet (Anatoly Egorov’s Ikharev is such a poet and romantic). He remains trustful in his colleagues and in the rules of the game. In the finale, this display of human weakness is severely punished. The rule of the new world is declared to be a game without rules.

Staged with modesty and without theatrical sensation, Alexey Levinsky’s “Gamblers” seems to be part of a long-awaited political theatre: a theatre not with the expressivity of German sots-art, but quiet and not bold, more like a kitchen conversation. Without media desires to interfere in the process, but with the hope that those who need to will hear it.






TRAVELLING COMPANY
20


PERFORMANCE SPACE
4.30 m х 6.50 m х 14 m

FOR AUDIENCE OF
70


FRIGHT
1.5 tons


GETTING IN
2 hours




Photo © Eka Chakhelidze