MOSCOW. PSYCHOSchool of Modern Drama, Moscow
Director Andrei Zholdak
The new production from Kiev’s Andriy Zholdak, like his previous Moscow performances, is a surrealistic collage, dream and cohesion of non-obligatory associations, quotes and reflections. The set comprises two rooms with a transparent fourth wall and screen above. The bare front of the stage is almost touching the audience. Lines from Hitchcock’s Psycho are intertwined with film footage of Moscow’s streets and live scenes. Mythical heroes are immersed in today’s reality while abruptly their contemporaries blurt out lines from Seneca and Euripides. Cameras follow the heroes everywhere leaving them no personal space and as Zholdak is talking about the megalopolis here, every gesture is in full public view. Medea, played by the well-known Russian actress Elena Koreneva, suffers for her art even more here. In Russia she is remembered by everyone as young and heart-warming, but the actress has not appeared on stage or screen for over 20 years and the aging process happens far from the public eye. Now before us an older washed-out woman appears and in front of the audience shows huge courage in revealing her panic-struck fear of being abandoned and forgotten, of getting older in an era when youth rules. And yes Zholdak reduces the monumental message of the classic plot and brings it down to a banal family drama. However, without a doubt Zholdak and Elena Koreneva squeeze every last possible drop out of it. There is an unforgettable scene where the restless Koreneva, having left home, wanders around the room holding a glass chandelier which vigorously and monotonously jingles as if accompanying her despair. Zholdak’s dreams may delight or irritate but one thing that can not be denied is some silent scenes in his productions are more powerful than any classical monologue..
The production Moscow. Psycho is developed using the same formula as Zholdak’s previous Moscow plays: Phedre. The Golden Collossus, and Carmen. The Outcome. The universal plot - in this case the ancient Greek myth Medea – is taken in its archetypical composition. The central heroine carries a vital, barbarian emotion and destructive energy, enchanting and subordinating everyone at the same time. Deliberate quotations, the interpenetration of different cultural epochs and the eclectic style are characteristic features of Zholdak’s directorial thinking.