The Mayakovsky Theater in Moscow played two new performances on family issues on the stage of “Archodrama” – “The eldest son” and “School of spouses”.
The “Great Tour” of “Mayakovich” in Arkhangelsk was opened by the tragic comedy “The eldest son” by Anatoly Suliyev based on the work of Alexander Vabilov. The director saw in the role of clarinetist Sarafanov, who believed in the student Busygin, who introduced himself as his son, the People’s Artist of Russia Igor Kostolevsky.
On stage there is a design in the shape of the letter “P”, covered with window frames – a conditional “panel”, both inside and out. In this apartment complex, the lights come on and off. In the opening of this peculiar arch, wandering lanterns sway drowsy like flying saucers. It seems that the heroes of the play also wander in life until they meet. A passer-by on a leash enters the stage – either looking for Druzka’s dog, or wearing a leash for a show, to explain his lonely night walk, to cover his loneliness.
“The Elder Son” is an “old school” show: it is not full of complicated directorial decisions, the actors have a lot of discussions, practically without changing the direction. Even one of the most expressive scenes – with the pillow that Sarafanov drops and Buzigin raises – is from the play. But defenseless, slightly ridiculous characters – great people – are hard not to sympathize with. Sometimes artists deliberately utter comments high, high, as if in a polite ironic way over these eccentric ones.
Igor Kostolevsky does not play as much music as a poet, a person who is not of this world. An intellectual who consciously prefers the truth of emotions to the truth of events. It seems to play in part the viewer’s idea of himself, placed in Sarafanov’s conditions. The organic masculinity and nobility of the popular artist – with his characteristic velvety shades, which the whole country knows in the ear – is combined in the image of the character with spiritual softness, even a kind of fragility.
Volodya Busygin Evgenia Matveeva is not a fool at all. It is not necessary to train him, he is immediately good. The eldest son’s unexpected role fits his character like a glove. He falls in love with the “sister” Nina at first sight and how obvious! In its first appearance it freezes, as if it has taken root in the spot. And then, after the “family” hug, he seems to “forget” his hand in the middle of it.
In Anatoly Suliyev’s work, both the “father” and the “son” need each other equally. They were looking for each other in the same way that that passer-by was looking for Druzhok. In the finale, by the way, owner Druzhka reappears on stage – with a toy puppy in his arms. Thus one acquisition is homonymous with the other. And let the son not be real, and let the dog be a toy. After all, “you are my children, because I love you.”
Love for all ages
The main event of the Mayakovites’ tour was the performance in Arkhangelsk of the impressive “School for Wives” (directed by Mindaugas Karbauskis, directed by Maxim Melamedov) – an ironic and modern work based on the work of Jean-Baptiste Molière translated by the poet Dmitry. Bykov. This show won six Golden Masks at the same time this season, although it did not receive a single one.
The translation amendment is fundamentally important. Dmitry Bykov’s translation is not just a repetition in his own words, but an attempt at revision. Bykov is far from being a super-feminist and if you search, you will surely find something to accuse him of sexism. But he manages to laugh at Mr. Arnolf’s buildable habits, who decide to “raise” a wife for himself, and with their refraction nowadays. After all, the bold comedy about the triumph of free youth over despotic old age sounds very timely. To the words that “violence, by God, is not appropriate”, Arnolf replies: “I hear a liberal”. No wonder liberal values are around his neck. However, judging by the applause and laughter in the room, unfortunately he is not alone.
In addition, in Bykov’s light, bold, playful poetic text, in which comedy is carved with rhymes and the approach of the 17th and 21st centuries, there are references to Russian literature – for example, the young Agnes, as in Pushkin’s Madonna, It is called “the purest charm, the purest example”, and her letter to Ora’s beloved begins as Tatiana’s letter to Onegin. And Arnolf’s jealous monologue, when he learns that the student has turned a blind eye to the other, turns the witty poet into an alphabetical acronym.
The scenery is extremely abstract: the action unfolds on a sloping plane, which is assembled from three moving “hills” – pedestals: one sloping platform moves forward, then another. The design of the show is dominated by gray of different shades. Only one bright spot is the fiery red heels on Arnolf (People’s Artist of Russia Anatoly Lobotsky) shoes. Well, of course, it is very important for someone who feels that he is not tall enough to dominate someone else. For example, over a young girl in a deliberately inferior position – with a white-and-white face and the voice of a hare Klara Rumyanova from “Well, you wait!”. But, like a wolf hare, Agnes (Natalya Palagushkina) escapes easily – nature itself is on its side. In the beginning, the thought even creeps in that such a voice is a pretense. But no, the girl is talking to her lover. Youth may be simplistic and even silly, but somehow they are smarter than the most cunning sly.
Wanting to stubborn nature again, the aspiring stickman turns to traditional values. His values that “there is no equality anywhere in nature” sound ridiculous and terribly recognizable. Arnolf tries to instill in the young student the virtues of a good wife: with each new rule from a dusty book, a new stick sticks to the floorboard. And these sticks are a whole bunch: the demands on a real woman are innumerable even today. But the twigs fall one by one, as if challenging the sound doctrines. And it does not even matter if it is meant to be done or if it is an accident. “For a woman, literacy is dangerous,” says Arnolf. And the stick is rubbish. Obviously, this is the rule.
But in the role of a grumpy jealous despot, Oleg Lobotsky does not get stuck for long. The most interesting thing starts when, like a bolt from the blue – both for the hero and the audience – the question is asked: “Am I in love with her?”. And the music stops suddenly, as if surprised by this realization. Arnolf suddenly feels pity, a pity when, as an old man, like with sciatica, he can not lift the cobblestone on which Agnes tied a love letter to Horatio. And so he pulls out such a moving, so retiring shopping bag, and, leaning on a cane, lifts another stone. And from the role of a comic old man he turns into a living person. Indeed, are not all ages subject to love?
With this knowledge, the second act looks completely different. Agnes and Horace are young and in love, which means they are right. They do not even have to do anything: both nature and the laws of the species are on their side. But Arnolf loves, and is therefore right in his own way. In him, tenderness fights with bile: either he throws the pupil’s dress and hat on the ground, then he gathers it, lifts it and shakes it. It starts with health: “Maybe I did not know love at all until now” and ends with peace: “Until he threw me like that, foul”. But then – the girl blows on the finger pierced with a needle.
But how to accuse someone who is so innocent that he does not recognize his “crime”? Agnes is innocent in front of Arnolf, because she is attracted to Horatio by a force stronger than her foundations – physical, bodily. Some kind of completely adolescent energy suddenly begins to penetrate under the miserable appearance of a weak 17th century girl. Not without reason the copy “I will miss you so much!” Agnes utters sloppily and at the same time very youthful: And this is the voice of a Rumyanovsky hare!
And Arnolf’s commitment to traditional values proves to be nothing more than a reluctance to relinquish power. But in the end, as much as the old man regrets, thanks to the brilliant play of Oleg Lobotsky, he has to come to terms with the triumph of the youth.