Extempore. Gogol. Dead souls(The story of a present)

School of Dramatic Art, Dmitry Krymov Laboratory, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case
Участник программы «Russian Case» Фестиваля 2017 года
Director: Dmitry Krymov
Age category 12+

Dmitri Krymov has long been engaged in the deconstruction of classic texts. The Extempore project presents a playful way of deconstructing the classics for children; these performances are played as if by an amateur troupe. Apart from Eugene Onegin, the project includes Dead Souls. Sakhalin Island and The Capital are in the making. Following the creative, all-transforming logic of the play, Krymov amuses himself, is touched and sometimes “sneers” not only at Onegin but at the Pushkin myth itself. On the ruins of meaning he collects new ideas, and they cheerfully or anxiously resonate in a new artistic context.
Four foreign Pushkin experts from Brno, Hannover, Tampere and Toulouse, one funnier than the other, function like Italian comedy masks: they interpret and retell Pushkin, and demonstrate a lack of understanding, but indeed they form a bridge from the 19th to the 21st century, translating Pushkin into the language of a Moscow teenager of today. This a real lesson in literature, only through the looking-glass.
In this production, which is full of fun and destructive irony, Krymov unexpectedly (incidentally, just as Anatoli Vasiliev did sometime ago) discovers the structure of the Pushkinian “postmodern”. After enjoying the mockery of theatrical clichés, as well as of the philologists and Pushkinists, including Lotman himself, Krymov and his actors tell the story of the death of Lensky and Pushkin, and cracks emerge on the thin ice of mischief; pain and sorrow fill the performance.

Alyona Karas