A PRODUCTION OF The THEATRE "SCHOOL of DRAMATIC ART", DMITRY KRYMOV LABORATORY IN ASSOCIATION WITH “THE MEYERHOLD CENTRE”
ADAPTED FROM IVAN BUNIN
On the stage: seven men with the faces of silent film actors: cigars, coats and tails, nostalgic decadence, with the sounds of a waltz in the background… not to mention vivacious young ladies, standing motionless like crippled puppets in cardboard boxes. The heroes are like photographic prints from the beginning of the 20th century – a sort of composite image of a Bunin character, gripped by an insane and pernicious passion for some woman, who inevitably becomes this feeling’s victim.
Director Dmitry Krymov turns to Bunin's collection of stories, “Dark Alleys,” or, more exactly, to the succession of memories they contain – tragic, dark, disgraceful, even cruel, but all the same – sickly-sweet. The soulful sadness of bygone love: the whole collection is infused with this feeling, written by Bunin at a ripe old age, far from his motherland. And as per the laws of poetry, the show is of course deeply penetrated by this feeling, but in counterpoint Dmitry Krymov proposes a mature new look at the canonical work, free of false sentimentality.
The new work of the Laboratory is a fantasia on Ivan Bunin’s love stories. These stories are stories about love, and about Bunin’s love in particular – incomprehensible, illogical, often forbidden, and always hopeless. Like the butterfly’s surprise, having flown into the flame of a candle. An attempt to understand and cope with what can’t be understood, and can’t be expressed with words.
All of Bunin’s stories in "Dark Alleys" end badly. There’s not a single happy ending. These stories are monstrous, either in their sobriety or, maybe, in their fictitiousness/fantasy – you have to decide for yourself. I’m not saying that I agree or disagree with him. But he shocks with his peculiar philosophical hopelessness. But the philosopher and the artist are people who understand the things from which everything begins, and with what everything will end. "Dark Alleys" is, in the same way, a reminiscence of a sticky situation which, nevertheless, is still sweet to remember.
The art of the theatre begins at that moment when we come to a new consciousness of the stuff that people are made of. Why so strict? Because it’s necessary to get rid of all dead weight, and this work demands a surgical intervention. Dead weight in this consciousness is deadly. It doesn’t give anything but a dry and flat feeling, even from such a multifaceted being as Bunin. It’s surprising, the way he explores the masculine and the feminine, and from such an unexpected point of view… It’s like an explosion!
Anna Sinyakina, Natalia Gorchakova, Maria Smolnikova, Varvara Nazarova, Valery Garkalin, Maxim Maminov, Mikhail Umanets, Sergey Melkonyan, Alexander Kabantsov (accordion), Arcady Kirichenko, Vadim Dubrovin
IDEA, COMPOSITION AND DIRECTION
Stage Design -
Lighting Design -
Make up -
Magic tricks -
The French language adviser -
Оlga Ravvich, Alexei Mikhalevskiy, Alexander Korotkov
Maria Masalskaya, Maria Smirnova
Irina Bakulina, Victoria Solovieva
Make up artist –
Valery Gurianov, Sergey Nazarov, Anton Telkov, Ivan Eryshev, Ivan Barakin
Production manager -
Stage manager –
Margarita Mikhailovna Bondarenko
Premiere: February, 9th 2011
Duration: 1h. 40mins