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The Honored Artist of Russia
Vyacheslav Dolgachev
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Provincial Anecdotes (16+)

  • Author: Alexander VAMPILOV
  • Director: Vyacheslav DOLGACHEV
  • Artistic Designer: Margarita DEMYANOVA
  • Costume Designer: Darya KILOCHEK
  • Music: Larisa KAZAKOVA
  • Choreographer: Alexey MOLOSTOV
  • Computer Design: Stanislav METELSKY
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The first performance: March 8, 2014

Duration of performance: 2 hours 45 minutes (with intermission)

Alexander Vampilov is the junior from the great trio of our playwrights: V. Rozov, A. Volodin, A. Vampilov; he is the best of the best, and this is forever. “The Elder Son”, “Duck Hunting”, “Last Summer in Chulimsk” and his other masterpieces brighten the billboards of all the theatres in the country. Young Sasha Vampilov became famous in 60-s with the same “Provincial Anecdotes” in which he make a statement as an adherent to the traditions of the Russian classics. Vampilov's comical stories are the brilliant example of the Russian Comedy, that not only entertains, but also offers an opportunity to speak about most serious things and sometimes reaches the tragical heights. An anecdote here is “an unusual, extraordinary case” as well as “a short story with a paradoxical ending”.

The protagonists of these sparkling one-act comedies are lodgers and the administration of a provincial hotel “Taiga”. Here we have two plots “from the life of business-travellers”. In “An Incident with a Paginator” Potapov, a lodger from Moscow, wanted to listen to a football match over the radio in the room of his female neighbour. But according to the rules of Soviet hotels all  the lodgers must stay in their rooms after 11 pm; and the seasoned administrator of “Taiga”, Kaloshin, decided to enforce this rule (far too much for his own good), appearing at the doorstep of the room. What happened next, why the hotel's governor almost met his maker, and why an enigmatic Paginator was so scary, we shall know at the play.

The heroes of “Twenty Minutes with an Angel”, who wake up in the hotel room, suffer from the usual alcohol withdrawal syndrome that is worse due to the lack of money. As ill luck would have it, they cannot borrow money, and no one is ready to help them. And then one of the afflicted gets an idea to cry at the top of his throat a plea for aid through the opened window. And they get a small amount of money. Can they use this money and what they will do with their “benefactor” – the typical Vampilov's resolution will show.

The special Vampilov's effect: the borderland between the stage and the audience seem to disappear and spectators feel as if they are not only the onlookers but the participants of the events. Is it one of the secrets of the powerful cathartic influence of his drama?

Vyacheslav Dolgachev:

— “One cannot choose times. You only live and die in them”. Vampilov's time is the end of the “Thaw” period and the beginning of Brezhnev's crackdown. The faith to the better tomorrow was going away. The bright future flashed from afar and disappeared. The lack of faith and prospects spawned the moral decay, so masterfully reflected by the young playwright from the comedy “Provincial Anecdotes” to the drama “Duck Hunting”. The decades passed. And again we don't choose times, but live and die in them. The faith goes away before our eyes gain, as well as the possible better future. “The moral decay” in Vampilov's play in comparison with the modern situation is just a comedy, that may turn into a new “Duck Hunting”.