Sasha Denisova


Theatre on Bronnaya, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2021
Director: Kirill Vytoptov
"The Tale of Igor's Campaign" is one of the most important texts of Old Russian literature, telling of the unsuccessful campaign of Russian warriors against the Polovtsians. The piece is familiar to everyone in this country as it has always been part of the secondary school curriculum.
Director Kirill Vytoptov and playwright Sasha Denisova intricately combine the old Russian epic of the XII century and the documentary material the actors collected by interviewing today’s security guards. A narrow stage with a recognizable plexiglass booth becomes a portal where two languages, two worlds intervene creating a space of absurd expectation. The heavy sluggishness of the action creates an epic aloofness; the guards gradually lose their comic character, and, like the main character in Dino Buzzati’s "The Tatar Steppe" turn into archetypal figures. And next thing you see is a chorus of uniformed men reciting in Old Russian, and a figure in a helmet and chain armour pushing his way between the sofas…"The Tale of Igor`s Campaign" is a story of a war campaign without heroes. Each of the guards in the play – whether he is a retired military man spending his days in the store or a Mafioso's bodyguard - also has something to say. The authors of The Tale of Igor's Campaign investigate how the phenomenon of the frozen-in- anabiosis man’s valour becomes replaced by a set of dull everyday chores. 

Yulia Kleiman