ЗОЛОТАЯ МАСКА - ФЕСТИВАЛЬ И ПРЕМИЯ
Ivan Vyrypaev

IRAN CONFERENCE

Theatre of Nations, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2020
Director: Viktor Ryzhakov
Set designer: Nikolai Simonov Age category 18+
All the stars aligned here – Theatre of Nation’s ambition for success with the audience, eminent actors’ names and a new play by Vyrypaev written in the form of a series of reports at a major political conference. You wouldn’t probably find such a constellation of actors of different schools and generations in any other Russian theatre. Denmark is the place of action, the conference is devoted to the issues of the Middle East and the problems connected to Iranian political position and the way it is seen in Europe, but Vyrypaev’s aim is of course not to deliberate on European policy or on the relationship between the East and the West. His play is only pretending to be a conference (just like it’s pretending to be Iranian), in reality it is another dumbfoundingly true-to-life and self-deprecating philosophical parable about humanity, faith and love. The conference on the stage of the Theatre of Nations is like a string of machine-gun bursts of monologues. Viktor Ryzhakov discovered the key to Vyrypaev’s texts long ago. The texts change, the author changes, but this playwright-director match doesn’t grow obsolete. The director makes the words go so fast that the actors find it impossible to live through the text, they recite it rhythmically and musically which makes “Iran Conference” into a lyrical statement and a poetry concert polished to the slightest turn of the head.

Elizaveta Spivakovskaya



“Iran Conference” by Ivan Vyrypaev is Denmark, but it is about the same conditional Denmark as Shakespeare's Helsingor. Director Victor Ryzhakov follows this author’s association - before the action begins, lines from “Hamlet” flash on the screen. And the most appropriate quotation here would be the sacramental "Words, words, words." Each monologue in the performance by Viktor Ryzhakov turns into a filigree portrait. With this in view he assembled not just a brilliant acting ensemble, but a whole acting galaxy.

Kommersant Dayly



The play by Vyrypaev is a variety of opinions of Europeans on the problem of the Middle East, but in fact, as one of the characters says, it is about the Europeans themselves, about their self-identity, about a test of Western Christian morality and democratic values; about the limits of European humanism.
The value of Vyrypaev’s play, in addition to the highest literary quality of monologues, is the author’s distance with respect to each of the positions delivered by speakers. Vyrypaev subtly finds out pain points and vulnerability in each character`s statements. The heroes` monologues are not just depersonalized opinions and theoretic items, it is obvious that each statement is also a personal experience, an inner state and a reaction to other remarks: the objective in the play is inseparable from the subjective.

Teatr Magazine



The performance takes place at the scientific symposium in Copenhagen. The orientalist, theologian, political scientist, military journalist, wife of the prime minister, writer, priest, famous conductor and Iranian poetess take turns to speak into the microphone and discuss a painful “Iranian problem” in the format of report and debates.
Almost every speaker has a skeleton in the cupboard and an unhealed heart wound. Someone was raped, the mother was killed in front of someone, an Iranian poetess was sentenced to death. They talk about the personal and private issues, trying to engage the audience.

Komsomolskaya Pravda Dayly



"Iran Conference" is a play without any topic - there is no introduction, development, obvious interaction of the characters and traditional theater dynamics. The conference is a purely business event on a given topic and has a list of speakers. The staging is simple and deprived of any frills - just a set of transparent plastic chairs, which are gradually filled with speakers and a huge screen on the back of the stage with a projection of either close-ups of the speakers or the waiting room for the remaining characters. The main advantage of Ryzhakov’s work is its protocol documentary, deliberate “boring”, with the necessary, clever accents on the most essential issue - Ivan Vyrypaev`s text. It is the playwright’s text that is the essence of the performance.

Irkutkoe Obozrenie



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