Directed by Eduard Boyakov
Photo: Boris KUDRYAVOV
The play “The Miser” staged by director Valentin Klementyev opens at the New Theatre. Literary adaptation of the comedy by J.-B. Moliere was made by Leonid Yakubovich, who plays the main role in “The Miser” – Harpagon. For him he wrote five monologues that Molière did not have. The premiere will take place on the stage of the Et Cetera theater on June 13 and 14.
On the eve of the performance’s premiere, we spoke with the artistic director of the New Theater, Eduard Boyakov.
– We show the public a new literary interpretation of Moliere’s comedy, which does not cancel the essence and meaning of the original, – says Eduard Boyakov. – For the performance “The Miser” Leonid Yakubovich composed very worthy monologues from the point of view of literature. Few of today’s viewers know that in the 1960s and 1970s he painted miniatures for many pop artists, for example, for Gennady Khazanov.
Yakubovich as the miser
Photo: Courtesy of “KP”
– For most viewers, Yakubovich is still a showman, the host of the “Field of Miracles” on Channel 1 …
– And it helps him a lot on stage. She has an instant reaction and a great sense of improvisation. The energy from him is enough for two hours – the time that the performance lasts, and yet Yakubovich almost never leaves the stage. The role of Harpagon requires a good physical condition. As for the popular notion of Leonid Arkadyevich only as a showman, in the process of working on acting I was struck by how deeply he knows the classics and how much he loves the Russian theater. I was convinced that he is a good artist two years ago when I presented the play Lavr (on the stage of the Moscow Gorky Art Theater-Ed.). Yakubovich played the role of an old Orthodox man. It was a great luck. By the way, the new edition of “Lavr” will premiere in the fall on the stage of the Theater of the Russian Army.
– The theater season is coming to an end, what do you remember about it? What impressions did you leave?
– Perhaps, no special impression, with the exception of the Vakhtangov Theater, which continues to work stably and successfully, even in the absence of the artistic director. There a high theater culture is preserved, including the performances of Rimas Tuminas. Excellent work of artists, directors Svetlana Zemlyakova, Olga Subbotina. Theater director Kirill Krok manages to keep the bar high. As for other Moscow theaters, this season they did not surprise me. The fate of the Theater of Nations, which was left by the director Maria Revyakina and the deputy artistic director Roman Dolzhansky, is unclear. Yevgeny Mironov (artistic director of the Theater of Nations) is an excellent artist, but I doubt that in the absence of his assistants he would be able to build a theatrical strategy. In general, the situation is dire. No leaders, no ideas.
– A year ago, you told me (verbatim): “The Russian theater has fallen under the influence of non-traditional values, restless feminists and cutesy gays.” A lot has changed since then. Many (directors, playwrights, actors) left the country. As well as reorganizations in the Moscow theaters and new appointments. New faces came to the vacant seats, which had previously been in the shadow of the conditional Silver-Crimean-Butusovs. They were given the opportunity to prove themselves. Updated blood. However, in my opinion, there are no brilliant breakthroughs, there are no interesting premieres. The only performance that I really liked this season is The General and His Family on the new stage of the Vakhtangov Theater. Why has nothing changed?
– Changed – everything got worse. The fact is that today any appointment, not only in the theater, but also in other areas of culture, is made not on the basis of professional skills, but on the principle of loyalty. Mediocrity always demonstrates loyalty to the employer. But this is not enough for the development of the theater. We need, I repeat, carriers of artistic ideas. Efros, Tovstonogov, Lyubimov – this is a certain ideology, the concept of theater, philosophy. I don’t know of a single modern artistic director or chief director who thinks about this topic at all. Most stereotypically think: let’s stage Ostrovsky, because he has an anniversary. And because the classics are harmless and time-tested.
– It has always been like this. There were “Danish” performances, for a date or an anniversary. And the same Fomenko, Lyubimov, Efros arranged harmless classics, which, in their reading, were not so harmless. Not to mention, their performances are masterpieces. What is the difference then and now?
– The fact that there used to be a certain order, both from the state and from the audience. If we talk about the Moscow theaters, it was an order of the capital’s intelligentsia: doctors, teachers, scientific elite… The Soviet intelligentsia had a huge ideological impact. It was the intelligentsia that was at the origins of dissidence and, in the future, of perestroika in the country. Yuri Lyubimov, possessing passion, received a creative impulse from the audience, thanks to which he built the repertoire policy of the Taganka Theater. Do you think Yeltsin and Gorbachev destroyed the Soviet Union? No, it’s about Lyubimov, Sakharov, Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Voznesensky himself, Vladimir Vysotsky, without knowing it, were preparing a tectonic shift.
Later, the Soviet dissident intelligentsia was replaced by people who simply hate Russian culture. They were engaged in the distribution of prizes, determined tastes, invited foreign directors, Alvis Hermanis himself, attended foreign festivals… All this with the patronage of our pro-Western liberal elite. And these people, oddly enough, continue to occupy a leading position in culture. But his era is passing. Time and the general situation are working for a new sovereign Russian culture.
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