The Honored Artist of Russia
Vyacheslav Dolgachev
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The Joker, the Rober and the Daemon: the Possible Encounter

Autor: Yury Fridshtein
Source: «Planeta Krasota», No. 9–10, 2010




- Don’t you want to wish happy birthday to Slava Dolgachev? I bet I want! More than that, I would have felt very sorry had not such an opportunity had been possible.

- Why so?

First of all, Slava is a nice person. And if I don’t have too much occasions to meet him, any encounter is joyful, light and sudden. Perhaps the last quality is his real secret. Dolgachev is a sudden man. Somebody would say omnivorous, but I think he is curious. Badly inquisitive. Hence, and only hence, all these mixtures: Volodin and Mishima, Ostrovsky and Bashevis Singer, Williams and Schiller. His genuine interest to the playwrights, to the actors, to the new places and new plots, is a keystone and the source of his successes. He is like a boy discovering something new each time, from the very outset. His energetic, young and lightning-fast reaction is also the keystone of how easily and naturally he finds common ground with numerous young talents — there are loads of them in his theatre. It seems he has an undeclared contest with them, who will be the fastest and the first. The mysterious, captivating, clever and paradoxical young men — Dolgachev collects them, as the famous character of Ranevskaya collected feather bed, feather to feather. I intentionally don’t name anyone: in the New Drama there are no favourites, there are individualities.

I also like his lack of jealousy concerning the successes of others, he has enough of his own. Despite all the disadvantages the remote location of his theatre has one great advantage: the absence of fuss. The concentration. Although you need not be afraid of the super order. The irony, cunning and humour are also there in plenty. As a matter of fact, Vyacheslav Dolgachev is remarkably serious person, that’s why he don’t like pompous declarations and noisy exclamations. He prefers to do his job. And that is his another trait that I like.

In his office, in the glass case there is a piece of cloth with an embroidered seagull. Dolgachev says he cut it from the MKhAT’s curtain that was removed during the reconstruction. There they have another curtain. And this one was old, from the old times. I always think — and I always know it for sure during some of his plays — that Dolgachev obtained something more besides this visible symbol from that old theatre. But the invisible may be the most important thing.


Slava, let all that we, being not prone to pompous pathos, tend not to speak about, always guard and protect your artistic career!

P. S. I make it clear that all that was mentioned above was made with the immediate everyday participation of Rita (Margarita Demianova, the art director of the New Drama Theatre).

P. S. S. For those who could not apprehend. In the name of this note the names of different Dolgachev’s plays and characters are used. Lest anyone get it wrong…

Actors about Vyacheslav Dolgachev

Interviewed by Alexey Raikov

Nina Gulyaeva, People’s Artist of Russia, the actress of Chekhov’s Moscow Art Theatre

— I know that Vyacheslav Dolgachev makes excellent roles for actors

— Yes, indeed! I played in his «Chekhov’s Pages» with delight! He is a real MKhAT director. I wish he come to the theatre and stage something with me. Everyone wants to make the author modern, not «to plunge» into the epoch, not to go deep into the world of yore (if we say about classics), and they lose. But Vyacheslav Dolgachev feels the author, he feels the epoch and, as I think, he is very interesting contemporary director. I wish him health, endurance and happy discoveries in the new season!

Svetlana Bragarnik, People’s Artist of Russia, the actress of Gogol’s Moscow Drama Theatre

— In the end of the last century there was Dolgachev’s play «The Plush Monkey in the Cot» on the small stage of your theatre. It was very difficult to get there, there were no tickets in the box office, the hall was always full. It was, perhaps, the best play of that time.

— Yes, because the play is excellent, the author is Yablonskaya, and we worked in some wonderful contact with the director. It seemed we exploded all the conservative theatrical principles, the decorations were hyperrealistic, the action took place in the Moscow one-room apartment of 15 square meters, as many people have. If there was rain outside, it rained in the decoration, as well as on the street. The peculiarity of Dolgachev’s directorship is the deepest analysis of a person, of a play’s character, and this relates to the artistic theatre. We even had a psychologist working at the play. All this gave us a special atmosphere, an air of conspiracy. We worked passionately and we believed in our director. As for the jubilee, I’d like to wish to Vyacheslav Vasilyevich good health, let the discomforts of life avoid him, let him follow on in his love to his actors, let the actors love him, let him get the artistic success.

Natalya Egorova, People’s Artist of Russia, the actress of Chekhov’s Moscow Art Theatre

— Natalya Sergeevna, this is the jubilee of the theatre were you began your career, and now its director is Vyacheslav Dolgachev, who is well-known to you. What would you say about the New Drama Theatre, how would you congratulate the company and Vyacheslav Dolgachev in particular?

— My universities, my school of life, my knowledge of theatre — all this is the New Drama. I congratulate all who works in the New Drama, and Vyacheslav Dolgachev is one of my favourite directors. He is a highly artistic man, even mad to some extent. His plays are of great success, I remember our work in two MKhAT plays: «Taibele and Her Daemon» and «The Sun Also Shines at Night» by Tolstoy; his directorship is not a dog-training, by no means! He is able to create a special atmosphere at a rehearsal, where actors feel themselves creators. He also works with his team of actors. It is very important when you feel you are the member of the team, that you are needed. I’d like to wish Vyacheslav Vasilyevich to be understood in his new teem, and, of course, I wish him new successes in his work.

Vyacheslav Nevinny-Junior, Honoured Artist of Russia, the actor of Chekhov’s Moscow Art Theatre

— Vyacheslav, this year Vyacheslav Dolgachev has the jubilee, and you are the actor who worked with him, in the Art Theatre, as well as in other theatres…

— Viacheslav Dolgachev is one of those directors who personify the principles of Stanislavsky and, perhaps, the school of Tovstonogov. His work in MKhAT was not a coincidence, because he is a real follower of «the theatre of the human soul». He searches the human problems, he opens the author, he helps an actor — be it the young or the old one — to enlarge their range, and he makes it perfectly. His talent is obvious, there are too few directors like him, the actors have many things to borrow from him. His plays are always bright and capturing. I am glad to know that in the New Drama Theatre there is a real professional, the former member of the Art Theatre. Anyone who worked with him will understand me.




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