Fyodor Dostoevsky


Theatre оn Bronnaya, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2021
Director: Konstantin Bogomolov
Dostoevsky wrote a novel about the phenomenon of devildom, which he embodied in Russian socialist revolutionaries who dreamed of rebuild the society based on new principles and were prepared to sacrifice human lives for the sake of their goals. The message that Konstantin Bogomolov conveys with his production is that the devildom as a phenomenon is absolute. You may find demons among supporters of socialist ideas, monarchists, staunch Westerners and those who share the idea of the Russians being “the chosen people”. Bogomolov aims not only at social trends and political parties (without sparing representatives of all current  Russian political trends) but also targets the essence of human nature as if insisting that it is devilish -  no matter what his characters do, no matter what idea they are obsessed with, they are always fighting their inner demons.
The question is, why you should torture yourself for more than three hours watching a performance that conveys quite a simple message, that the whole world is possessed by demons? The short answer: the outstanding acting that Bogomolov`s actors demonstrate in “Demons”. They pronounce the lines with such meditative detachment and extreme concentration that, in some mysterious way, a kind of existential light is reflected in each character through the worldly passions, delusions, stupidity and vanity with which they are possessed. "There is no God, but He is out there" - this is the slogan written on T-shirts that you can buy in the foyer before the performance. Come to think of it, that is the key message of Bogomolov’s production. The world is possessed by demons but not abandoned by God – this is what Bogomolov seems to be telling us. God is elusive, nameless, intangible, and can only be defined apophatically, through negation: God is not this, that and the other. But in some strange way, He is present in each character of “Demons” and hides somewhere in the depth of their demon-possessed souls. 

Marina Davydova