SASHA, TAKE OUT THE RUBBISHMeyerhold Centre, Moscow
Участник программы «Russian Case» Фестиваля 2016 года
Director: Viktor Ryzhakov
The Ukrainian playwright Natalia Vorozhbit wrote a mystical, eerie text about the war time with a simple story about a military man who is thought to have perished in the war. All of a sudden he returns to his family, and here the story becomes an epic tale: society needs only dead heroes in order to justify its heroic past. The family and relatives do not need living or resurrected heroes. The deceased husband and father is doomed to wandering: he has done his duty and the homeland throws him aside like a used resource. Director Viktor Ryzhakov makes the actors perform against the background of a huge brick wall that goes right up to the sky. The audience sits so close to the wall that there is no leg room. The characters look flattened, almost two-dimensional with their simple-minded conversations about household routines. These conversations reveal a huge gap between the woman’s mission to hide from the hardships of life behind tribulations of everyday life and the heroism of a warrior born to die gloriously and be disgracefully forgotten amidst the bustle of day-to-day life.
SASHA, TAKE OUT THE RUBBISH might be the only show where a spectator wouldn’t dare to sit in the first row without the actress’s approving nod: after all, she also has her personal space. The best places here are the ones where you can stand up and touch with your hand the flat, brick-fronted set. You will have to look bottom up, but you wouldn’t be allowed to relax, like in a commuter train in peak hours: an experience of “extreme theatre”, having nothing to do with bourgeois amusement, - is not a bad addition to the treatment of war.
Spectators find themselves invited to a home. They are welcomed by a fully-laid table, with herring, potatoes, cured pork fat, pies – all as it should be, typical Ukranian treats. You won’t see a stage in the room, and this is not surprising, - there is no stage. Instead of a stage with the set there is only a concrete wall, where you see the outline of a bathtub magically appear. Here the characters will cry, sing songs, play the violin and make jokes…
MIR 24 TV Channel
It is difficult to say what triggers the imagination, makes our fantasy go wild, launches the mechanism of pain. It is almost impossible to write about this small-scale production by Victor Ryzhakov, based on a play by Natalia Vorozhbit, a playwright from Kiev. Only fifty minutes long, it has two actresses and one actor in it, you can say there is almost no set – only a solid brick wall and a short segment of video projection created by Olga Nikitina. Closer to the end we hear the Wind of Change by Scorpions, which was sung on Potsdamer platz a year after the fall of the Berlin wall. Flashes of fireworks, or maybe explosions of bombs – are projected on the flat brick wall – this is how the production ends. Fifty minutes at the Meyerhold centre are like a crevice, a crack in time, a trauma lasting for a quarter of a century, from pulling down one wall to building new ones – those that now divide the once undividable world.