Theatre of Nations, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2021
Based on the works by Roman Mikhailov
Director: Andrei Moguchy
The last two theatrical seasons of the Russian theatre were characterised by interest in the country’s recent past.  In A TALE OF THE LAST ANGEL Andrei Moguchy makes the troubled time of change - "the wild 90s" - the subject of his reflection. It is the attitude to the 1990s that is the touchstone defining today’s political preferences: while the liberals look back on that period with nostalgia (how can one forget suddenly acquired freedom?), the reactionaries are horrified by the 1990s, being unable to accept the collapse of the empire. However, it’s not only the social aspect of the controversial decade that is being investigated in A TALE OF THE LAST ANGEL, but mostly the mythological and, eventually, the metaphysical dimensions. The literary basis of the production is texts by Roman Mikhailov and Alexei Samoryadov. But, as is always the case with Andrei Moguchy, the texts are only a starting point for his grotesque theatrical road-movie. In collaboration with designer Maria Tregubova, Moguchy created a weird world where everyday life exists alongside dreamlike fantasies; the protagonist, similar to Osiris, dies and arises in a new guise and real characters communicate with images from fairy-tales. The first act lasts three minutes and during the intermission the audience remain in their seats because one of the actors goes on and on with his confessional monologue. When watching A TALE OF THE LAST ANGEL you clearly understand that it had to be Andrei Moguchy and nobody else but him to create a production about the 1990s – the director coming from the 1990s - the one who has always been outside the rules and who highly values artistic freedom and freedom in general.

Marina Davydova