The Moscow Gorky Theater, previously known for musicals and heartbreak comedies, under its artistic director Eduard Boyakov, gives an idea of a new state-supporting drama aesthetic.
Boyakov, who saw himself as an avant-garde at the beginning of the millennium, became a patriot and made the fascist writer Sachar Prilepin his deputy at the theater, wants the Russian stages from what he sees as the rule of mannered gays, flashy, lonely women and immature dissidents , to free.
At the Gorki Theater there are now plays about the Prime Minister of the last Tsar, Pyotr Stolypin, about the martyrdom of Nicholas II and his family, but also about Russian saints.
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Now the house is also playing an avant-garde role in the rehabilitation of Stalin by bringing out the premiere of the drama "The Wonderful Georgian" about the revolutionary beginnings of the Soviet dictator.
Before the performance begins, Boyakov appears in front of the audience and explains that Stalin should increasingly become the subject of films and plays because under his rule Soviet Russia had achieved a unique power, expansion and civilization achievement.
Boyakov, an avowed Orthodox Christian, had previously expressed an “ambivalent attitude” towards the dictator because he had persecuted his church, but expressed no regret over the mass murders.
Character of the father of nations
The text for the two-hour evening was written by Andrei Nazarov, a senior member of Russia's Military History Society, which was founded on the ukase of President Putin in 2012. It deals with the time around 1901, when 23-year-old Iosif Jugashvili, who had fled Tbilisi, lived illegally in the Black Sea port city of Batumi, where he managed to organize workers in conspiratorial cells. The title goes back to an expression by Lenin who, while emigrating to Gorky, asked the name of the talented party member in the Transcaucasus. Boyakov had announced that the drama would take apart the character of the future “father of the nation” like clockwork in order to make his later vengeance and harshness understandable. Of course, what the director Renata Sotiriadi brings to the stage,is more of an adventurous-romantic-trashy musical, which is mainly carried by fiery Georgian dances and songs.
The opening credits move to the 1920s with a stage hung with poster slogans, Bolsheviks who move like machine parts ask how they should continue after the death of revolutionary leader Lenin, and his widow Nadezhda Krupskaya reminds us that the deceased had warned against Stalin, because he was too rude and ruthless for the post of general secretary. In response, wiry Georgi Iobadze in the costume and mask of the mature, pipe-smoking Stalin steps up to the ramp and recommends looking into the future. The graceful Elvira Zymbal in the role of his second wife Nadezhda Alliluyeva, who married him in 1918 at the age of seventeen (and shot herself after a dispute with him in 1932), tries to persuade him to return to the Caucasus, where he is not considered rude ,but rather as a "hero" - drum rolls sound, and the two of them do an acrobatic-erotic fight dance on a sofa - for free.
Explosive lesginka dances
Now Iobadze is transformed into the youthful revolutionary who quotes Marx, but also wrote poems and thus turned the head of the daughter of the worker patriarch who gave him shelter. The rebellious working people of Batumi recommend themselves at Sotiriadi for their robust traditional costumes, archaic drinking ceremonies, splendid polyphonic chants, but above all explosive lesginka dances with phenomenal footwork and jumping power, which also identify the men as excellent hand-to-hand fighters. What a contrast to the pompous police chief, the plump governor general and the occasionally English chattering investors of the Rothschild oil refinery, who amuse themselves with the bead-hung saloon singer Bella Chantal, for whose role the popular television presenter Olga Busowa was hired.Again and again, the absolutely unmusical Busova intones in evening gown or negligee pussycat in the self-loving waltz time without ever hitting a note, which causes laughter in the hall, but also desperation in actors and directors, some of whom no longer want to work at the Gorki Theater. The fact that Bella Chantal at the end of Soso, as Stalin is called in this phase of life, warns against his state henchmen, of course, characterizes her as a secret sympathizer.warns of his state henchmen, but characterizes her as a secret sympathizer.warns of his state henchmen, but characterizes her as a secret sympathizer.
Iobadze portrays his heroes as a responsive fighter who moves in a criminal environment like a fish in water, is not afraid of knives and pistols and has already overpowered six smugglers attacking him single-handedly. He thinks ahead, organized, when the Rothschild factory burns, a fire extinguishing operation of the workers and then, when they are not expected to be paid, but fired, a strike. But he sacrifices people like chess pieces, such as the working class family who are hiding him, and does not even take part in high-risk rallies, which reminded one critic of the current Kremlin ruler. After an interlude in which rock musicians loudly evoke the energies mobilized by the Soviet project, the apotheosis comes: Iobadze appears again as Stalin in front of the audience to admit that he is rude. And demandswhile the lights go on in the hall and the “comrades” are asked to vote on whether he will remain in the post of Secretary General - the response is applause, and a press photographer has even put on a Stalin T-shirt. There is no border in Moscow that is not crossed.Keywords: