The production of ILLUSIONS by playwright and director Ivan Vyrypaev is a fine piece and a serious research project at the same time. Vyrypaev pursues a complicated task by letting the primitive into his work - the genre of melodrama and banal narration from the third person.
In many of his plays he tries to express the absolute refuting the relative. This time he exposes unfaithful earthly love calling it an "illusion", looking for true and eternal divine love, he doesn't settle for less. Another illusion, exposed by him is the theatre itself. The audience comes to the theatre hoping for the illusion of verisimilitude, expecting to be deceived cleverly, and Vyrypaev reacts to each habit of the audience in an unexpected way. The lights must go out in the hall, but they remain on. The audience wants to empathize with the characters, but there is no one to empathize with. The actors do not transform into characters and remain actors – orators, speaking from the rostrum directly to the Hall, and trying to establish contact with the audience. This brief contact, like eternal absolute love, cannot be imitated and it is impossible to be mistaken about it: love either exists or not. Such contact occurs in the ILLUSIONS, and it turns out that such a small thing is enough for real theater to come into being.
"I think the most important thing in this play is the relationship between the actor and the audience. Hopefully, this will be a real dialogue, when some people want to say something to others. Actually, this is what the performance is based on".
from Ivan Vyrypaev's interview, Time Out
Such plays are usually called European: a private story, a clear and transparent structure, lack of social and mentality context (all characters have English names, slight accents of the Polish actress and American actor help abstract from geography).
Ivan Vyrypaev has produced his new play "Illusions" at "Praktika" theatre, seemingly not without irony, he himself has called it a melodrama of true values. Written for the German city of Chemnitz and already announced in the repertoire of several European theatres, it has finally determined Vyrypaev's status as a European playwright.
This time Vyrypaev plays with the trust of the audience. "Tuning up" the audience in a masterly way to discussions of love, he gets euphoric from breaking the melodramatic tension, created by himself, and turns inside out not just the idea of loyalty or unfaithfulness, but what the audience has taken for loyalty or unfaithfulness.
The actors of "Praktika" theatre work very hard: they speak about complex things in a simple way, make fun of frightening things, present ordinary things as captivating. The mixture of a detective story with a love drama turns out a philosophical parable about looking for one's own way, choice, predestination and making awful mistakes.