Two friends go outside at night: one – to breathe fresh air, the other – to smoke a cigarette. The main characters are played by the main actors of “Saturday” – Ivan Baikalov and Vladislav Demyanenko.
“Let’s go for a walk,” my friend told me. Come on, I said. We went out into the street, it was raining outside. I’m going back for a hat, I said, if not, my head freezes. said a friend. Quit smoking, I said. Stop telling me what to do, said a friend. And he smiled … “-this is how the play is built, rather, a story in the first person. But in the theater, the monologue is shared between eight artists.
The director told RG about the production.
You enter the auditorium and see the screens of the eyes, up close. What are you putting in it?
Andrey Sidelnikov: All our current life is arranged: photos, selfies, videos, browsers, voice assistants in our devices, street cameras, posts on social networks. The personal space of a person has become very narrowed. All the time someone is watching, spying on us. And there is nowhere to hide from it. Each apartment has televisions, telephones, computers, cameras… Many viewers understand this metaphor very well, which can be interpreted and not so everyday, in fact.
A modern parable in the genre of the road movie: this is how the genre of the work is defined…
Andrei Sidelnikov: Yes, the heroes travel at night, various incidents happen to them. And finally arriving in the morning and realizing that it was a journey of the soul. In general, this journey is a duel with oneself. One of the heroes, one side of our “I”, does not want to help anyone, he just wants to live and not delve into anyone’s problems. And all the time arguing with a friend: why help someone? Help those who meet them tonight. And the other does not agree with him and helps everyone. In the end, the friend who comes to everyone’s aid leaves, disappears. Like all the best in a person. And the second: no one needs, without a family, without children, the old man remains, who lived a useless life. All of this happens in one night, which turned out to be a lifetime.
What attracted you to this play-monologue (mono – also indicated by the author)?
Andrey Sidelnikov: The themes of loneliness, fear, loss of oneself. One of the characters in the play, who lost his family (Strong Guy), has a key monologue that life is beautiful only in childhood and youth, and then separation from family and friends begins, life takes away everything.
I often see confused and pensive faces after the performance. The public does not drive away, like after “The Government Inspector” or “#FarewellJune”, some of our other performances. But the play “My Friend” is for reflection, to look inside yourself and try not to kill that good friend in yourself, whom the hero of Konstantin Steshik’s play ultimately loses.
In the meantime
Teatro “Sábado” celebrates these days the IV International Short Story Contest. The festival program included six plays. Sketches of the performances were presented to the public by directors from Chelyabinsk, Yerevan, Samara, Izhevsk, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Perm. More than four hundred works participated in the 2022 competition program.
Konstantin Steshik, playwright:
– “My friend” is a monowritten work especially for the theater. In addition to “Saturday”, this text was staged at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater, at the Kamchatka Drama and Comedy Theater, and others. He had long wanted to write a text about two friends traveling through the city at night, but it took shape, it took shape in the play “My Friend” only recently. We can say that this text is the result of many years of living in the post-Soviet residential area of Minsk.