Premiere of The Chocolate Soldier in St. Petersburg Maly Drama Theatre

11 June 2015

The Maly Drama Theatre — Theatre of Europe hosted the premiere of The Chocolate Soldier on 10 June 2015. The play was put on with the support of the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation.

The play was directed by famous Romanian-born American drama and opera director, Andrei Serban. On various occasions he has worked with Peter Brook, the Royal National Theatre, the Alexandrinsky Theatre, La Comédie-Française, the Vienna State Opera and many other legendary theatre venues around the world and for the first time he joined efforts with the Maly Drama Theatre.

Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man was chosen to be staged at MDT with special translation by assistant Artistic director Dina Dodina. Within the Theatre of Europe’s repertoire, the play was an honorary intellectual comedy addressing such serious issues as war, totalitarianism, personal freedom, honour, patriotism and love.

The plot of The Chocolate Soldier takes place in Bulgaria in 1885. A young girl, Raina, is angry with an enemy soldier who climbs into her house through the window hoping to get away from his pursuers and imminent death. Having initially taken the dirty, exhausted officer escaping death for a coward, over time Raina discovers that he has more noble qualities than her gallant fiancé Sergei, fighting on the front-line. Raina’s contempt and sarcasm are gradually replaced by compassion and mercy and afterwards by even deeper feelings.

The cast links several generations of MDT’s actors: Honoured Artists of Russia, Sergei Kozyrev and Natalia Akimova, Maria Nikiforova, as well as representatives of MDT’s younger generation Oleg Ryazantsev, Stanislav Nikolsky, Ekaterina Tarasova, Daria Rumyantseva, Evgeni Sannikov, Arthur Kozin.

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