A MIDSUMMER NIGHT`S DREAMPyotr Fomenko Theatre, Moscow
Участник программы «Russian Case» Фестиваля 2016 года
Director: Ivan Popovski
The most striking performances in the latest Moscow theatre season are focused on dream, night fantasies, on falling in the arms of Morpheus and hallucinogenic therapy. A dream is always torture and exhaustion. The unrequited erotic longing of the Athenian lovers is the cause of neuroses, and is followed by sleep that brings no relief. Alluring, yet painful love envelopes you and tightens a noose around your neck. The visual solution of this beautiful performance is represented by curtains arranged in multiple knots. Love is not given to us for peace and quiet. This is an example of Shakespeare’s style of comedy when one awkward movement may turn a comedy into a tragedy. Everything is flowing in the performance. The image of a forest at night is created with the help of light fabrics suspended from the bars that will be transformed into a colonnade of light. The flaming sheets are animated by wind machines. The soft “floor” of the forest is like a big mattress in which you can drown as if sinking into sleep. The symphony of the textiles in the performance is quite sensual. Their bodies contorted, the four Athenian lovers sway and climb up the curtains, which become like lianas. Love is a distressful amusement; it is always unrequited and insatiable.
... the director has no intentions of plunging too far into the depths of psychoanalysis, as Kirill Serebrennikov did. Rather, he follows the pathway created by Dmitry Krymov who took only one storyline from the play with the amateur performance of craftsmen and expanded it to global deliberations on the nature of theatre. The strongest and most important element in Popovski's production is acting. It pervades and influences everything. Karen Badanov's Oberone turns here into a director of night performances, and his assistant Robin, brilliantly portrayed by the flexible and gracefully moving Ambartsum Kabanyan, becomes a nuisance of a stage manager, who confuses roles, gets in the way of the actors and creates all these qui pro quo which are so essential for a comedy.
St Petersburg Theater Journal
...at the same time - which is even strange for our times, - everything is true to Shakespeare, and everything is joyful, lyrical, even the buskins and circus flights - everything is taken from the text, nothing is self-invented, although all acting is, of course, self-created, true to actor's nature, which the director feels very strongly, not imposing anything that is alien on anyone. And in this we feel the rare authenticity and lightness of this theatre's acting, the basis for which was laid by Fomenko.