An Optimistic Tragedy. A Farewell Ball
September 20, 19:00
National Drama Theatre of Russia (Alexandrinsky Theatre)

Broadcasting
Meeting
Teaser
“St. Petersburg Theatre Seasons” Festival provides its audience not only with an enjoyable experience of watching online the best of Saint Petersburg’s performances. After watching the broadcast, the viewers have an opportunity to meet the creators of the performances and ask them about their work. Hence, the magic of the theatre still continues after the final curtain call is done, and the audience is not confined only to watching performances. Everyone can ask artists or the director a question and receive an honest answer.
All discussions will take place at the Media Centre of the Alexandrinsky Theatre and will be broadcasted online.

The meetings will be hosted by Alexander Platunov, Ph. D. in Art history, a theatre critic, member of the Nominations Committee of the St. Petersburg Highest Theatre Award “The Golden Soffit”.
The stream will be available on this page according to the event schedule.
“St. Petersburg Theatre Seasons” Festival provides its audience not only with an enjoyable experience of watching online the best of Saint Petersburg’s performances. After watching the broadcast, the viewers have an opportunity to meet the creators of the performances and ask them about their work. Hence, the magic of the theatre still continues after the final curtain call is done, and the audience is not confined only to watching performances. Everyone can ask artists or the director a question and receive an honest answer.

All discussions will take place at the Media Centre of the Alexandrinsky Theatre and will be broadcasted online.

The meetings will be hosted by Alexander Platunov, Ph. D. in Art history, a theatre critic, member of the Nominations Committee of the St. Petersburg Highest Theatre Award “The Golden Soffit”.
Аbout the performance

Duration – 2 h. 20 min. without intermission. Age restriction 16+

“An optimistic tragedy. A Farewell Ball” is a research performance which deconstructs the mythology of the Soviet era and makes an attempt to cure its metastases. The legendary 1955 Alexandrinsky production directed by Tovstonogov, was academic, pompous, and majestic. It gained Vishnevsky’s play a status of a monument to the Soviet regime, turned it into an allegory of struggle between Good and Evil, with all the priorities set once and for all.

Yet the play that an ex-seaman Vsevolod Vishnevsky wrote in 1933 for Alexander Tairov (and in collaboration with the latter) grew to a very ambiguous and turbulent text. The author and the theatre company were seeking for a modern analogue of an antique choir, were experimenting with addressing to theatre audience and hazardous intermedia-discussions on contemporary art, and — most important of all — they grasped the depth of tragedy, stepped into the abyss of insolvable contradictions that only time can solve. Nowadays, the questions raised in the play sound familiar and resonant with the time.

They cause another wave of grandeur — not because the answers are near, but because there are no answers at all. And this feeling makes you want to scream, it can’t be silenced. The new edition of the play is a result of co-work, a blend of original Vishnevsky’s text and 20th century’s illustrative opuses — from Blok and Rozanov to yard songs and punk music. Directors and performers deliberately provoke each other to extract personal, sympathetic utterances. The myth collapses and reveals the bare undisguised conflict.
Revolutionary show based on the play by Vsevolod Vishnevsky
Play writer – Asya Voloshina

PRODUCTION TEAM

Director — Victor Ryzhakov
Set design and costumes — Maria Tregubova, Alexei Tregubov
Videographic artist — Vladimir Gusev
Choir master — Tatiana Burel
Sound art — Anton Yakhontov
Light design — Denis Solntsev
Movement — Sergei Larionov
Sound producer — Anna Rastrogina
Assistant Director — Andrey Kalinin
Stage manager — Sofia Matveyeva
Executive producer — Antonina Dzotsenidze
Consultant — Andrey Yurganov

CAST

Witnesses of History — Arkady Volgin, Era Ziganshina
Commissar — Anna Blinova
Alexey — Tikhon Zhiznevskiy
Leader — Valentin Zakharov
Vainonen — Viktor Shuralev
Hoarse — Ivan Efremov
Boatswain — Sergei Mardar
Commander or Bering — Alexander Lushin
Sailors, participants of the revolutionary concert, artists of the cardboard puppet theatre and tragic illusion — Nikita Barsukov, Philipp Bayandin, Dmitry Belov, Dmitry Buteyev, Ivan Efremov, Vladimir Minakhin, Alexander Mitskevich, Efim Rodnev, Anna Seledets, Valery Stepanov, Pavel Cherneykin, Alisa Shidlovskaya, Maksim Yakovlev

The premiere took place on September 19, 2017

The production features texts by: A. Blok, S. Witkiewicz, A. Voznesensky, F. Dostoevsky, A. Makarevich, V. Mayakovsky, P. Yushkov

The production features songs by: А. Vertinsky, Detsl, A. Lushin, M. Magomaev, B. Okudzhava, V. Solovyov-Sedoy, S. Wonder, Leningrad Band, 5’nizza, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, etc.
Duration – 2 h. 20 min. without intermission. Age restriction 16+

“An optimistic tragedy. A Farewell Ball” is a research performance which deconstructs the mythology of the Soviet era and makes an attempt to cure its metastases. The legendary 1955 Alexandrinsky production directed by Tovstonogov, was academic, pompous, and majestic. It gained Vishnevsky’s play a status of a monument to the Soviet regime, turned it into an allegory of struggle between Good and Evil, with all priorities set forever.

Yet the play that an ex-seaman Vsevolod Vishnevsky wrote in 1933 for Alexander Tairov (and in collaboration with the latter) grew to a very ambiguous and turbulent text. The author and theatre company were seeking for modern analogue of antique choir, were experimenting with addressing to theatre audience and hazardous intermedia-discussions on contemporary art, and — most important of all — they grasped the depth of tragedy, stepped into the abyss of insolvable contradictions that only time could solve. Nowadays, the questions aroused in the play sound familiar and urgent too.

They cause another wave of grandeur — not because the answers are near, but because there are no answers at all. And this feeling hurts to scream, impossible to silence. The new production is a result of co-work, a blend of original Vishnevsky’s text and 20th century’s illustrative opuses — from Blok and Rozanov to street songs and Russian prison chanson. Directors and performers deliberately irritate each other to extract personal, sympathetic expressions. The myth collapses and reveals the bare undisguised conflict.

Revolutionary show based on the play by Vsevolod Vishnevsky
Play writer – Asya Voloshina

PRODUCTION TEAM

Director — Victor Ryzhakov
Set design and costumes — Maria Tregubova, Alexei Tregubov
Videographic artist — Vladimir Gusev
Choir master — Tatiana Burel
Sound art — Anton Yakhontov
Light design — Denis Solntsev
Movement — Sergei Larionov
Sound producer — Anna Rastrogina
Assistant Director — Andrey Kalinin
Stage manager — Sofia Matveyeva
Executive producer — Antonina Dzotsenidze
Consultant — Andrey Yurganov

CAST

Witnesses of History — Arkady Volgin, Era Ziganshina
Commissar — Anna Blinova
Alexey — Tikhon Zhiznevskiy
Leader — Valentin Zakharov
Vainonen — Viktor Shuralev
Hoarse — Ivan Efremov
Boatswain — Sergei Mardar
Commander or Bering — Alexander Lushin
Sailors, participants of the revolutionary concert, artists of the cardboard puppet theatre and tragic illusion — Nikita Barsukov, Philipp Bayandin, Dmitry Belov, Dmitry Buteyev, Ivan Efremov, Vladimir Minakhin, Alexander Mitskevich, Efim Rodnev, Anna Seledets, Valery Stepanov, Pavel Cherneykin, Alisa Shidlovskaya, Maksim Yakovlev

The premiere took place on September 19, 2017

The production features texts by: A. Blok, S. Witkiewicz, A. Voznesensky, F. Dostoevsky, A. Makarevich, V. Mayakovsky, P. Yushkov

The production features songs by: А. Vertinsky, Detsl, A. Lushin, M. Magomaev, B. Okudzhava, V. Solovyov-Sedoy, S. Wonder, Leningrad Band, 5’nizza, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, etc.