Nikolai Erdman


Studio of Theatre Art, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case

Участник программы «Russian Case» Фестиваля 2016 года

Director: Sergey Zhenovach

The set consists of two dozen doors. This is a communal apartment. In the play THE SUICIDE, forbidden in the 1920s, Nikolai Erdman depicted people of the new communist lifestyle. They are living in cramped spaces, on top of one another, where a nocturnal conversation between a husband and a wife becomes public. The rebellious philistine Podsekalnikov begins with a battle for a piece of sausage and ends up in a major fight for his worthless dull life. Sergei Zhenovach, who represents the traditional approach to directing, has staged a performance that raises social issues about death that becomes the subject of trade and political and media manipulations, and where a little man shouts loudly struggling for the right to whisper and to hallucinate.

Pavel Rudnev

THE SUICIDE is one of the most intelligent and pungent shows on the Moscow scene. It affects the audience like acid affects a rusty coin. It creates historical parallels that are frightening to remember. It makes us think of questions we'd much rather force out of our minds. It puts us face to face with our history which isn't teaching anybody any lessons.

Sergei Zhenovach is building the show with amazing virtuosic freedom. He easily makes blend the sounds of a flushing toilet with the rattle of a brass band (floating ghostlike down the central aisle). Romances of the beginning of the century and enthusiastic marching rhythms of the hits of the 20s. The small stage of the Studio of Theatre Art seems to be filled with people, yet every character gets his very own close-up downstage.

Noviye Izvestiya