Highlights from the Russian press on Honore de Balzac

2013

 This is an ironic and nostalgic homage to Chekhov’s characters. The Prozorov sisters, have gotten along in years and quite battered and even mutilated by life, have gathered in the old house to remember their father. Dmitri Krymov and his disciple Vera Martynova have created the world, Gogolesque rather than Chekhovian, out of masks, pads, a living rooster and old photographs showing Masha, Irina, Andrei young, handsome and hopeful. Time flies, a man gets old and poor in health and this makes him very angry. In this next episode of his Chekhoviana Krymov talks about this constant frustration and nervous merrymaking, his starting point being Chebutykin’s line about Honoré de Balzac who allegedly got married in Berdichev. By bringing all the supporting characters to the forefront and by turning the little nooks of Chekhov’s drama into the arterial road Krymov documents the life of the post-Chekhov protagonist through trifle details and fragments of conversations that have long turned into an illegible hubbub of voices.

Kristina Matvienko

…The existence is almost illusive, balancing between life and death, reality and memories of the things lost. The father died exactly a year ago – well let’s celebrate and rejoice. Half of the town has burned out – let’s do a charity concert for the fire victims. So they all act accordingly and hastily. The apoplectic doctor walks in with a saw and speaks at length about the operation that ended when the patient died. And Tuzenbach, also carrying a saw, is so eager to do some work that he instantly starts sawing a wooden bar. The impression is further enhanced by the extrasensory abilities the director has endowed the characters with instead of the normal human qualities. For instance they are capable of teleportation and are time and again moving the teacups on the table…

Vyacheslav Shadronov, Chastny Korrespondent

…Dmitri Krymov’s production calls up the image of a magic box with a multitude of bottoms. And each one lets in and out a different emotional reaction, sometimes as intense as tragic sentimentality. Like in the fire scene where paper figures, representing a “brick factory”, “infants” and nostalgic replicas of Moscow architectural structures, are burning in a large bowl. The instant of this almost tragic silence when everyone hushes and is just watching the fire swiftly devour the broken dreams and impossible ambitions…

Irina Alpatova, St. Petersburg Theatre Journal

In a seemingly pointless saying of doctor Chebutikin from the "Three sisters": " Tarara boom-de-boom..." insightful readers of Chekhov's plays have long found something very serious, perhaps reflecting the futility of all things existing and indifferent acceptance of the world's absurdity. You bet, Tuzenbach has just been killed at a duel, the Prozorov sisters are hysterical, the officers leave them forever, and the doctor sits and mutters some nonsense. Dmitry Krymov also managed to hear the peals of a military orchestra, solemnity of marching steps in the remark. He invented a procession play, similar to a nightmare of Chekhov's researcher, at the same time, a dark and witty fantasy, with Chekhov's world presented as an endless delusion, and the world celebrating Chekhov's anniversary as a crazy and brutal carnival.

Kommersant

Спектакли

Оноре де Бальзак. Заметки о Бердичеве 2013, Школа Драматического Искусства

История

Подполковнику никто не пишет. МАРИЯ МИХАЙЛОВА, 2013
Нечеловеческая комедия. Вячеслав Шадронов, 8.10.2013

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