A BAD GIRLBryantsev TYuZ
This project involves staging an experimental text in a traditional theatre for children and youth. However, A BAD GIRL isn’t on the main stage of the St. Petersburg Youth Theatre, nor even on the small stage. The performance by Dmitry Volkostrelov, an outstanding young Russian director, takes place in the white rehearsal room, where the audience is seated along the wall, and right up close to them, actors perform a play about the lives of young people, or more accurately, ‘hipsters’.
The white room is furnished with IKEA furniture; it is spacious and designed for doing exactly what the heroes of Pavel Pryazhko’s play do: chopping salads, drinking wine, watching French new wave movies and lying on the couch. Their lives are spoilt by nothing but the bad girl of the play’s title - actually a normal girl, with a job, a profession and definite goals, but a girl who is completely miserable. It’s almost impossible to explain what is so bad about her, and why she does not fit into the company of her peers, but it's like in chemistry - either there is a reaction or there isn’t. The girl is tired of it all and leaves, but we don’t feel sorry for her, as it is her own fault, maybe she shouldn’t mix with these people.
The main focus in Volkostrelov’s production is its complex staging, where things happen in the ‘present continuous’ tense, making us forget about the role of an outside observer for a moment.
There is an important remark in the text of the play: "Three hours later. The same unremarkable street. Dima gets out of a mini bus, takes out his camera”. So the character photographs an unremarkable street, looks at unremarkable things, records and interprets them, lets the unremarkable street speak on its own, giving it the status of postcards, printed for tourists. And it seems important now, as the focus is moved to such streets. We all look for "great" events, but we have to see that life is not made of them. And the seeming trash of events, the mosaic of micro happenings collected in the text of Pavel Pryazhko, the story related in the text is not trash, it is real life.
A BAD GIRL play is like a film script. There are more remarks than direct speech in it. The scenes can be so short that fit in two sentences. Pryazhko does not tell a story. The episodes of A BAD GIRL are observation notes.
Olya, the "bad Girl" critically examines different forms of life. Pavel Pryazhko does exactly the same thing. Local PE teachers, acting in his play Life Is Good, spoke in unprintable exclamations. Managers, locked in offices and shopping centers, acted in the Locked Door. A BAD GIRL describes a social environment that is no less recognizable, however, it is more difficult to find a clear definition for it. It shows infantile, already not very young, but still "young" people, without a definite occupation, but with an amateur interest in the arts and humanities. These characters can be found today either in Moscow, St. Petersburg, or in Minsk (Pryazhko’s hometown).
Xenia Peretrukhina lodged these fine young people in a cozy little world of IKEA sofas and lamps, shelving units with books by the antiglobalist Naomi Klein and vinyl records of Simon and Garfunkel. And Dmitry Volkostrelov turned A BAD GIRL into an amusing toy similar to Lego, but even more so similar to lomography, the characters of the play have fun with. The gray apartment buildings, taken on a LOMO, seem almost like toy objects, but film reliability reminds of the fact that they really exist. Volkostrelov’s production minimalism has the same effect.