THE BEARPuppet Theatre, Kostroma and Artistic Association “Kult-Proekt”, Moscow
Puppet theatre, Kostroma and "Cult-project" Art Association, Moscow
Directed by Vladimir Birukov
The Bear from Kostroma is another ‘echo’ of the last year Chekhov’s jubilee that made the theatrical world look for unusual forms for development of the ‘known by heart’ material. Generally speaking, Russian puppet theatres began approaching Chekhov long ago, and a number of productions with Chekhov’s characters played by puppets are considered to be a success. However, the one-act vaudeville The Bear has never been produced on the puppet stage. At first the director Vladimir Biryukov was also going to produce a vaudeville but then everything changed. He describes his work on the production as follows: ‘Of course, at first glance it seemed that this short play was so famous. and its humorous, comic tonality would again amuse myself. But after referring to the text I discovered a story about lonely, tired from disillusion people, and that it was not an acting of pain but a life with pain, and that every word was full of such passion and sensuality that I didn’t want to cackle about it anymore. Of course, there was a risk to play the psychological theatre by the means of puppets and through plastique to live the whole range of emotions and relationships to the music of Chekhov's text. But we wanted to tell a quiet tender story of searching for and finding love, and once again bow before the good old Moscow Art Theatre which we still miss’.