Moscow Art Theatre
Presented in the frame of Russian Case
Участник программы «Russian Case» Фестиваля 2017 года
Based on an idea by Alexander Molochnikov Sr

Written and directed by Alexander Molochnikov
Age category 16+

This is the view of a young man on the events of Russian revolutionary history: the Decembrists, who went out onto Senate Square in 1825; the members of People’s Will, who chose terror as means of struggle against the autocracy; and finally, the heroes of nonconformist culture of the 1980s in Leningrad and Moscow. Alexander Molochnikov, an actor and aspiring director, intermingles the historical revolutionary heroes, such as the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin or the terrorist Sergei Nechaev, a prototype of one of the heroes in Dostoevsky’s The Demons, with heroes of the underground rock culture and art of the 1980s-1990s, whose songs are performed in the show while «pictures» are projected onto the backdrop. The characters are reduced to a farcical aspect, including great Russian poet Pushkin, the main Russian «brand» name, who is skating across the stage and is cheeky to the Tsar. The pathetic element of the Revolution, based on research of documentary archival material, has been turned into a kind of cabaret, where the revolutionaries of the past look like naive romantics, or at most cruel pragmatics.

Revolution finds its true place only in art. Therefore the songs of the well-known rock groups of the 1980s-1990s – Boris Grebenshchikov and the Leningrad group Nol (Zero) – sound here in their vitality and relevance. At any rate, REBELS are doubtless recognized as a force of contradictory «ideological» content, presents a bright and disorderly cross-section of the historical myths that are viewed with a fresh look.

Kristina Matvienko