Pushkin Drama Theatre, Magnitogorsk
Director Lev Erenburg

In Magnitogorsk The Storm unleashes such passions because from the very beginning it is clear that the modest, short-haired Katya Kabanova will not last long. And this is not because everybody is so bad: on the contrary – her mother-in-law is alright, and her husband is rather nice, passionate and loving towards his young wife. It is just that this life – with vigorous relatives and extroverts who drink godlessly or pray devoutly, is counter-indicated to Katerina. One feels sorry for everybody: for the unfortunate, god-searching Kabanikha, and for her son, exhausted from the intense passion for his wife, and even for Varvara with her valiant lover. In order to cool the ardour of the heroes, director Lev Erenburg and designer Alexei Votyakov have built a pond behind Kabanikha’s house, where head-over-heels almost all the protagonists cool their heads. This etude-built, incendiary production of The Storm, where in the key scenes the actors seem to immerse their heads into a whirlpool, is extremely convincing in its pathos. Yes, this is how one drinks in Russia and how one discovers relationships; yes, the newly-turned Moslem may let his wife wear a paranja but will continue to hold a bottle in one hand. Yes, with the same passion with which people have only just sinned, they run to repent in church. So when Kabanikha tries to catch some annoying mosquito over the corpse of the drowned Katerina, who died for her love to the hectic Boris, everything falls in its place and the “Russian spirit” disarms with its sincere and naive disorder.

Marina Davydova

Having read the play the performance by the Magnitogorsk Theatre is a succession of the director’s visions, it is a collection of very skilful and surprising sketches on The Storm. The most memorable scenes are those without dialogue. Lev Erenburg worms his way between the lines of The Storm to force them apart as much as possible and present the audience with very inventive, well-thought out and sincerely performed scenes.

Ostrovsky’s heroes are rosy cheeked and simply bursting with health. Unfortunately they only waste themselves blindly, hot-headedly, vainly in an austere, wooden-looking Russia, as if trying to heat not themselves, but the entire Universe with their energy. They brawl, tear themselves to ribbons and do not save or hide their emotions from people. However, in all the outpouring of emotions they mess it up and miss the mark in love and jealousy, in wishing their families well. They flounce around and they suffer without understanding what they are living for.

Roman Dolzhansky,


Ostrovsky’s play has been cut significantly (at least by half) and even more importantly rewritten and dramatically rethought. There are no cruel and nasty characters, no oppressive family atmosphere and no hint of rigorism. Everyone here is a victim of passion or circumstances and everyone suffers and drinks, walks about energetically and sinks into suicidal melancholy. Like in The Seagull there are “five poods of passion.”

Marina Davydova,


14 m x 12 m

Height - 9 m


12-meter truck

One day before the performance