Osip Mandelshtam: the dark wood of the word

Playwright and Director Centre, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2018
Director: Klim
Set designer: Klim, Andrei Vipulis
Age category 16+
Deep and radical theatre philosopher, Klim has been working on the project “Serving the Word. The Russian Logos” for a few years now, listening to the poetic word being born out of the elements of city and ancient folklore, out of popular chartbusters of the epoch, out of classical music and folk prosodies. Actor Pyotr Kulikov (philosopher by education) formulates the meaning of the show in the following way: “Our artistic exploration is in unriddling the palimpsest of time, where “cultural layers” of the spoken poetic word are inseparable from the rhythms and melodies that make up the acoustic environment of the epoch”.
Revolutionary songs, city romances, Jewish melodies, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian folklore, famous tango of the 30s, Beethoven's and Schubert's music are intertwined with the “production” of the vocalized word. Klim and Pyotr Kulikov hear Mandelshtam's poetry as a dialogue, pulsating in time and space. Klim stitches the unconsciousness of the dark scenic space with the cylinder of a light stream, and the poet’s communication with time is presented as an epiphany, the apparition of the word. The actor’s tall figure with shiny smooth hair gleams in the dark; his face becomes a mask and changes features, the elegant coat gives place to a leather jacket or a blue velvet jacket. Changing the motives – murmuring something to oneself at one moment and raising one’s voice at another – the actor calls the poet’s eternal soul from oblivion, he could hear all the voices of his bestial century.

Alyona Karas