Theatre of Nations, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2021
Text by Alvis Hermanis

Director: Alvis Hermanis
You would expect that the production entitled GORBACHEV offers a new look at our history and the protagonist’s role in it, at the coup d'état attempt in August 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, nothing of this you will see in the main hit of the current Moscow theatre season. There are only two characters in the play– he and she. The historic events provide a background only to the story about Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev`s private life. Alvis Hermanis` theatrical biopic is based on their memoirs, letters and public appearances. The initiator of Perestroika is seen as a man who values love more than power. This theme resonates clearly at the beginning and end of the play. In the middle this keynote flags but the situation is saved by absolutely brilliant work of two outstanding actors – Yevgeny Mironov and Chulpan Khamatova. Even in secondary scenes the actors’ incredible charisma makes the characters and their feelings very convincing. They are not only acting out their love, but also trying on their costumes, wigs, makeup (the action takes place in a dressing room) and, moreover, the dramatic fate of the last general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and his wife. Before our eyes historical characters are being transformed into vulnerable and suffering people. 

Marina Davydova