ЗОЛОТАЯ МАСКА - ФЕСТИВАЛЬ И ПРЕМИЯ
Natalia Moshina

ZHARA (THE HEAT)

Praktika Theatre, Moscow
Director Vladimir Ageyev


Praktika Theatre was created ten years ago by producer Eduard Boyakov and works according to the rules that are rare in Russia - this theatre has no troupe, but has an art programme: only modern plays are produced here. The theatre provides an opportunity for independent artists to realize their projects (ILLUSION by Ivan Vyrypaev, BABUSHKI (GRANNIES) by Oleg Kudryashov's workshop) and produce their own performances. The HEAT is one of them. Praktika has a fraternal theatre at the other end of the country, the Stage-Molot (Stage Hammer) in Perm. The Texture International Film and Theatre Festival including drama contest, is held there. The best plays of the contest are staged in both theatres. The HEAT is just one of such plays. Playwright Natalia Moshina presents the situation typical for Russia: no matter what happens, it does not exist unless covered by the media, and the media controlled by the authorities cover only the permitted topics. This is the way the authorities establish imaginary reality.
The characters which belong to the opposition try to destroy it and collapse in collision with the state security machine. Vladimir Ageyev in the Moscow production interpreted the opposition as artists: they occupy the office of a commercial company responsible for the destruction of the historic appearance of Moscow, take hostages and make demands to the authorities. The performance accurately described the near-unconscious condition recently experienced by the Russian society. It predicted the explosion of civil disobedience, which happened in December after Duma (parliament) elections. Another forecast, made by the HEAT is the total power of secret services that Russia is being pulled into deeper and deeper. It is the last thing one would like to believe, but has to.


Elena Kovalskaya



THE HEAT is a simple theatrical trick when four characters, bright and caustic, are placed in a neutral solution of proposed circumstances, observing how it, despite its neutrality, slowly absorbs any initiative. […]The scary in Moshina's play is all the time mixed up with the funny and the funny still implies the scary on the quiet —it was the author's idea, retained by the producer.


Gazeta.ru



What is happening on stage reminds of the bulletproof pre-perestroika atmosphere, deafened by the imaginary well-being of stagnation. But the presence of a modern office, newfangled equipment and the internet brings a disquieting suspicion of a hint at the future that could ensue if the contemporary society doesn't stop turning a blind eye to conflict subjects.


Rossiyskaya Gazeta



Vladimir Ageyev has staged the play HEAT by Natalia Moshina, a contemporary playwright from Ufa, at "Praktika" Theatre. The performance clearly captures the state of war and insurmountable gap between the people and the authorities. […] the proximity of death, its visual tangibility immediately transfers the performance from the rank of futuristic anti-utopia to a contemporary tragedy.


Petersburg Theatre Journal



A thorough story, albeit not so much sparkling with wit, was produced by Vladimir Ageyev, which is almost a password for theatre-goers: he knows how to deal with modern texts. He does not spit at the country for nothing, nor thumbs his nose behind the back of the authorities, nor tells a joke, nor tries to be more topical than a daily newspaper. His performance is about an imaginary life and people who trying persistently try to straddle life but slip off. The heat here is a metaphor for the dull swoon the society is presently in.


Forbes.ru




Synopsis