Valery Pecheykin


Gogol Center, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2021
Collaborative work by Pyotr Aidu, Alexander Barmenkov, Nikita Kukushkin, Kirill Serebrennikov
THE MAN WITH NO NAME was created by people with big names: a leading actor of Gogol Center Nikita Kukushkin, composer-performer Pyotr Aidu, set designer Alexander Barmenkov and, finally, Kirill Serebrennikov. This is a rare example of “horizontal theatre” with each of the creative team being a star. This mysterious performance takes its inspiration from Prince Vladimir Odoyevsky who lived in the 1st half of the 19th century and was a novelist, philosopher, public figure, famous cookery expert and inventor of musical instruments. He was also a mystic and was nicknamed the "Russian Faust".
But THE MAN WITH NO NAME is not at all a biopic. Generally, its genre is hard to define. This is a fascinating act of theatrical alchemy: the unique instrument panharmonica made by Peter Aidu from ten reassembled mechanical pianos becomes an independent character, and the actor’s acrobatic tricks make your head spin.
For two hours, the actor (Nikita Kukushkin)  dominates the stage, transforming in the blink of an eye from our contemporary to a XIX century Russian prince, and from the prince to an nameless hero of the future. The programme describes these parts as representations of the stages of the alchemical "magnus opus”.  You may choose to make a serious intellectual effort trying to follow these stages in THE MAN WITH NO NAME. Or you may simply relax and enjoy Pyotr Aidu playing his panharmonics, worth a whole orchestra, and admire the brilliant acting of Nikita Kukushkin, worth a whole ensemble of actors.

Marina Davydova