“The SOSO Daughters” Independent Theatre Project, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2020
based on Tampa Melashvili

Director: Zhenya Berkovich
Set designer: Ksenia Sorokina
Zhenya Berkovich’s performance is based on the novel by Georgian writer Tampa Melashvili dedicated to the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict at the beginning of the 1990s. The theme is mostly unknown and therefore not quite comprehended in either Georgia or Russia. Two Georgian girls on the territory occupied by the war are the main characters of the story. The first friendship, the first cassette player, the first cigarette – the drama of the plot is related to war, but friends Knopka and Ninche argue, make peace, envy and tease each other. They do all the same things teenagers do all around the world in any times. They wander around the city where there are only women, old people and children left. The city that has nothing to eat. The city that receives death notices.
This world created by the authors of the performance in a cellar is played out by women only. We are not able to forget we are in Georgia – the dense visual language of the performance reminds both of Pirosmani and Parajanov. The important thing is that we have the right to talk about this – the authors reflect on it: having just started to talk with a Georgian accent, they stop abruptly. And later, at the hint of the upcoming death of the main character, actors freeze in their places, telling us it is time to leave the audience and stop being spectators.

Elizaveta Spivakovskaya

“A Counting Rhyme” is the story of two thirteen-year-old girls left to their own devices in a remote Georgian village in the midst of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. The performance takes place in the early 90s of the last century. In the village there were left only children, old men who have lost their mind, cripples and helpless women. Everyone is waiting for the “corridor” to be opened, but they will not open it, and there is practically no hope for salvation. This is a story about war, about growing-up, about a person’s relationship with time and space where he has to live. With all the horror of the described events and circumstances, there is a lot of fun in the play - after all, the story is told on behalf of children who, even amid a great catastrophe, are occupied by small private, but important for any child things.


The plot is based on the story of two teenage girls who live in a remote village and incidentally caught in the epicenter of a military conflict. Which one? It doesn’t matter. Somewhere and sometime in the early 90's on a vast arias of the post-Soviet space.
The main thing is that the girls themselves begin to play war. And the game turns out to be stronger than the impending reality, it draws in their relatives, neighbors and the military. And then there is music, songs and dances of the "roaring" nineties. Madonna, Nirvana, Spice Girls - in bright arrangements of Georgian female folk singing.


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