Valeri Fokin has stripped Tolstoy’s play of the gypsies, who not just create the ethnographic and musical setting of the play. They are the quintessence of romantic pathos that penetrates its structure. Together with the gypsies Fokin has also removed the pathos, which was captured in the legendary production of the Alexandrinsky stage by the legendary Nikolaiy Simonov in the early 1950s. Sergei Parshin’s Protasov, deprived of will-power and quietly turning into an inveterate drunkard, exists in Fokin’s production in some underground, more precisely under-the-stage world. This anchorite is incapable of condemning or protesting, of merry-making or loving. In this manner intelligent people drifted into hard drinking during the Soviet times, only to say later with pride: I was not there, I did not vote, I did not take part. Parshin plays with restraint, without the bright colours that have been traditionally attributed to the play’s hero. The other actors walk, speak and gesticulate in Fokin’s production in the way in which probably the actors moved and spoke many decades ago in Stalin-era productions: ceremonious and academic. At times it seems that Protasov has escaped into the underground not from the hypocritical world, but from this very stuffy, grey, old-fashioned, decent Soviet academism.
Proscenium opening – 8 m x 15 m
Length – not less than 16 m
FOR AUDIENCE OF
Three 40-feet trucks