FUNDAMENTALISTSMeyerhold Centre, Moscow
Director: Lera Surkova
Set design: Ekaterina Dzhagarova
The play of the Finnish playwright Juha Jokela is written in the genre of dispute: the theme of fundamentalism and religious intolerance becomes the basis for a conversation about the responsibility for your ideas, about the right to preaching in the broadest sense of the word.
The plot is grounded on the dispute between Marcus and Heidi: a liberal pastor standing up for the renewal of the Church and a rampant sectarian. Once Marcus offended the young Heidi, and now she appears in front of him as the embodiment of the old guilt. Reason and humanity are on the side of the enlightened pastor, but his victory leads to another catastrophe. Liberating Heidi of sectarian bigotry, he leaves her alone with herself, face to face with the contradictory world.
The focused on a detailed game of two actors, minimalistic performance by Lera Surkova talks about the faces of fundamentalism that sometimes have civilized and even progressive forms, about violence of any messianism, and the responsibility for good intentions.
"Two actors scrupulously play out a complicated dialogue of a former priest and his former parishioner who had taken to sectarianism. The play “Fundamentalists" talks about spiritual rivalry and about the extent of rigor that lives in each of the characters regardless of their beliefs: he approaches religion from the point of view of scientific rationality, and she is an earnest fanatic. The play itself, and a meaningful and accurate directing captures the audience from the very start, and then take all along the complicated intellectual debate, turning into a dramatic story about the lost feelings, about responsibility for what is said and done. Our public is not used to follow the delights of a discussion about Scripture, as in general the adventures of ideas on stage. "Fundamentalists" is a happy exception helping the audience to find freedom and get satisfaction from the fact that you are part of a serious yet exciting conversation on the subject that has by now become relevant to ther Russian society. "
Screen and Stage Magazine
"When the actor went up to the pulpit and began his speech, two women spectators decided that they were in a meeting of some religious sect under the guise of a theatre performance. They got so angry that started claiming the money they paid for the tickets. This is how great the power of art is! We are suggested to reflect on those aspects of religious life, which are usually dropped out of sight of believers. For most of them, all questions and problems have been solved, and it remains only to fast, prayand get, enchurched. But why would I do that? What will it give to me personally, how would it change my life? To what extent will it become a part of my personality, and to what extent it will be a mask or a role-playing game? When I say I believe in God, can it be that I have doubts in my own self? Or maybe this is just an abstract mental construction? These are all very relevant questions at a time when we hear more and more often about the "protection of values" and "insulting religious", and less and less frequently - about God and the man. "
"In Russia, nothing like that, it seemed, could not be - to the scene in the room furious monologues metal rebel priest, exposing clericalism and claiming the true religion. Rebellious priest convinces the word of trut