GENERICO.ruRussiaSquare land: from Akhedzhakova to Khabensky

Square land: from Akhedzhakova to Khabensky

Konstantin Testament of Baron Munchausen “at the Moscow Art Theater. A.P. Chekhov. Photo: Vladimir Fedorenko/TASS

The year was seething with scandals, bubbling with strife, but still, most importantly, it was shining with premieres. The theater is arranged in such a way that it should move towards meaning, towards cognition, even if the changeable vector of time points to a dead end.

Recently, when I was with a major director with a long biography behind him, he noticed that he lacked madness in the works of young directors who had been showing the Festival “Directing Lessons” all autumn. The perspective is clear – you always want to meet someone who has the right to say: I am new, I am inevitable, I have come!

But the request for insanity is more than covered by the current reality.

The trends that emerged in the 2021 season are at the same time critical, dramatic and comic. Electronic reality gives a voice to everyone; the struggle of opinions turns any act into a farce; there is an antithesis for any thesis. If someone casually notices that the earth is round, hordes run up from all sides, screaming: square, square!

But a real theater is also needed on a square earth. Perhaps even more acute.

Akhedzhakova recently threw into the hall of the Vakhtangov Theater: “To be or not to be”? The most famous remark in the world was uttered by her not in the role of Hamlet, but in the role of herself, the star of Sovremennik and the brightest characteristic actress of the Russian stage and screen. And it was not about the metaphysics of being, about the concrete ugliness of our reality.

Liya Medzhidovna was presented with the “Stage Legend” award as part of the “Theater Goer Star” ceremony. And in spite of the unctuous goodness of the moment, she tore up the ceremonial template by abruptly seizing the opportunity. What is happening in the country – with “foreign agents”, illegal persecution, preparation of the execution of “Memorial” (the organization acts as a “foreign agent”), the keeper of our memory and pain?

Liya Akhedzhakova. Photo: Sergey Karpukhin/TASS

In this striking monologue, in spite of the ceremonial situation, in defiance of the time, there was truth, standing up for the humiliated mind of contemporaries. The theater community, frightened to the point of dumbness, applauded the actress.

Fear, apprehension, looking back have become a part of the life of the theater people.


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