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HomeLatest NewsOn the stage of the Moscow Art Theater, the “dog lady” howled...

On the stage of the Moscow Art Theater, the “dog lady” howled in despair

Date: July 15, 2024 Time: 05:31:29

Actors Sergei Volkov and Polina Romanova as Gurov and Anna Sergeevna

Photo: Ekaterina Tsvetkova. Go to Photobank KP

Behind such an elaborate and pretentious title lies the plot of a textbook story by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov. This year both the story “The Lady with the Dog” and the Moscow Art Theater turn 125 years old. We decided to celebrate the double anniversary with a production.

“After Chekhov, no one can write as simply about such simple things as him” – this is how Gorky revised the story, where a banal holiday romance turns into a truly great love. But is Gorky really an authority for modern directors? Everything that is simple and clear seems uninteresting to them.

Alexey Mizgiryov, better known as a film director (“Flint”, “Tambourine-Drum”, “Convoy”, these are his films) composed his own story based on Chekhov. His characters in “The Lady with the Dog” and his secondary characters attend a session with a psychotherapist (played by Rostislav Lavrentyev), who knows the technique of hypnosis.

Actors Sergei Volkov and Polina Romanova as Gurov and Anna Sergeevna

Photo: Ekaterina Tsvetkova. Go to Photobank KP

The characters Chekhov mentions in passing: Gurov’s wife, Anna Sergeevna’s husband (he appears briefly in the theater) become full-fledged heroes, like Gurov and Anna Sergeevna. Each one has their own pain, which they express, pour out their soul, reflect… Some, as is clear, are subjected to psychological violence. Anna Sergeevna (that is, the lady with the dog, played by Polina Romanova) is simply suffocating from despair. He or she sheds a tear (for real) or howls like a dog (for a long time). The action reaches the point of tragedy. Gurov’s wife, whom her husband constantly cheats on, was poisoned with arsenic. Chekhov never thought about this. Gurov and Anna Sergeevna try to commit suicide twice, like in a Japanese play about a geisha. Killing each other is the only way to free yourself from love. But it is not entirely clear whether they die or not. Some viewers suspected Gurov of the murder of Anna Sergeevna. Others have the opposite opinion: Anna Sergeevna killed Gurov. In Chekhov, by the way, there are no hints of such an ending… Although it is not entirely optimistic either: the most difficult and difficult thing for Gurov and Anna Sergeevna is just beginning.

“For me, this Chekhov story was never a story about a love affair. This story is about the difficult relationship between a man and a woman. Adultery has become a personal drama. The theme of despair is felt behind the plot, says director Alexey Mizgirev, convinced that a man and a woman can never be happy. – A person cannot be happy at all. And not even psychotherapy sessions will help…” And this is something personal for him.

Mizgiryov explained both the need for arsenic and the murder. Chekhov’s story is only 5 pages, “there is no drama in it, it was necessary to find dramatic movements.” The director finds them: in a paroxysm of passion, Anna Sergeevna rides with Gurov (played by the fine actor Sergei Volkov) on a crushed watermelon on the ground. The watermelon is an independent character. Chekhov mentions it in passing, during the characters’ first intimate date. “There was a watermelon on the table in the room. Gurov cut a piece and began to eat slowly.” In Mizgiryov’s performance, the watermelon is endowed with a sensual and sexual meaning. The characters put a watermelon in their mouth, put it on their head and splashes of watermelon juice fly towards the audience…

They say that while the director was looking for a “dramatic movement”, the actors suffered a lot. For Dmitry Mizgirev, the rules and order of theatrical productions were a novelty. “We had a long way to go in the rehearsal process. And we also did psychotherapy,” actress Daria Yurskaya said diplomatically. She plays Gurov’s wife, the one who was poisoned with arsenic.

The performance lasts just over an hour. Despite the watermelon splashes, the dog and the geisha began to feel sleepy after 10 minutes (the psychotherapeutic session with elements of hypnosis had an effect). And in the end there were still many questions. Why was a film director invited to the cinema, although this is happening now? Why “The Lady with the Dog”? “It was solely my wish,” Mizgiryov said how he met with the artistic director of the Moscow Art Theater, Konstantin Khabensky, and made him an offer. Was it even possible? Come to the main dramatic theater in the country, choose a classic, add it your way… And the premiere is ready.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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