AT THE BEGINNING AND THE END OF TIMERoman Viktyuk Theatre, Moscow
Участник программы «Russian Case» Фестиваля 2016 года
Director: Roman Viktyuk
Roman Viktyuk has staged a play by a Ukrainian playwright who is a resident of Germany. The play tells about people living in an exclusion zone in Polesye near the Pripyat river years after the Chernobyl disaster. They rather prefer to have no social contacts whatsoever than deal with civilization in any way. In fact, the play deals with life in the post-Soviet area, presenting the drama of people living in territories that are fragments of the former empire. Once again the post-Soviet territory becomes a place of potential explosion, hallucinations and loss of connections between people. The former Soviet civilization has become history, the concept of human life has lost its value, time has stopped and connections between people have been destroyed completely. Those who continue living in the Chernobyl area turn out to be animals trapped by the mighty ones. They have already given away everything, but the world is still hankering for more human sacrifices. The urban civilization continues to live following the hecatomb. It is absolutely impossible to escape the civilization that devours people even if you take the path of self-destruction.
One of the most intriguing figures of Russian theatre Roman Victyuk, who we always expect a fervent carnival of, with feathers, half-naked bodies and talks of sex, has decided to celebrate his birthday with a production about Ukraine. At the heart of the show is a play by a German emigrant Pavlo Arie (a completely new name in playwriting) about the Chernobyl catastrophe. The author’s subtitle printed on the playbill states: “Devoted to hundreds of people challenging the terrible catastrophe, the state system, to patriots of their native land who have come back home, the last inheritors of Ukraniain woodlands”.
… this show is a window of a mental asylum
with a view of absurd reality.
Action takes place… in an abandoned village, not far from Pripyat river – a small farmstead, a dead-end… nowhere to go from there. Only woods and mires are around.