St. Petersburg Maly Drama Theatre Stages Mumu in Belgorod and Kursk Regions

07 June 2016

The Maly Drama Theatre — Theatre of Europe (MDT) directed by Lev Dodin performed its play, Mumu, in Stary Oskol, Belgorod region on June 3, 2016. Two days after, the play was seen by an audience in Zheleznogorsk, Kursk region. The theatre tour was arranged with the support of the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation.

For their tour to the Belgorod and Kursk regions this year the MDT troupe has chosen one of its oldest plays, Mumu, based on Ivan Turgenev’s classic novel and directed by Benjamin Filshtinsky. The play was first staged in 1984.

Theatre director Benjamin Filshtinsky further enriched Mumu, by weaving stories taken from another great novel by Turgenev, The Hunting Sketches, into it. The play is narrated from the stage by traveling buffoons. It was created based on the active analysis method and contains a lot of improvisation and folk music.

“It was a completely new theatre with a new concept to penetrate deep into the piece and ‘grow’ decisions on the performance from there. There is a whole generation of Dodin’s disciples in the team, because it is clear that a production of such a level can only be a success after long-term training by the Master. For the performance at Stary Oskol, the play is occupying a new space, and has been adapted to a bigger stage, including additional scenes. Everything was created by teacher Filshtinsky and the actors, every set is thought through, every detail is filled with meaning,” artistic director of the Stary Oskol Theatre for Children and Young People, Semyon Losev sharing his impressions of the play.

The tour of the Academic Maly Drama Theatre to the Belgorod and Kursk regions took place as part of the programme for strengthening tour ties between different Russian cities supported by the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation.

“During the 9 years of cooperation between the Foundation and the MDT, residents of the Kursk and Belgorod regions have seen the best productions of this legendary theatre. Ksenia Rappoport, Danila Kozlovsky, Elizabeth Boyarskaya, Sergei Kuryshev, Igor Ivanov, Tatyana Shestakova and other world class actors have performed here. We are very pleased that thanks to mutual cooperation high art from the Northern Capital has become accessible to other regions,” noted Maria Krasnikova, the director of the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation.

The first theatre tour within the framework of this programme took place in the Belgorod and Kursk regions in 2009, when Uncle Vanya was put on. In 2010 the audience of Zheleznogorsk saw Snow Queen, and Brothers and Sisters was shown in Stary Oskol. In 2014 the theatre returned to the residents of these cities, showing a production of Intrigue and Love, and presented Three Sisters there last year.

“We bring along all the best that we have. We do not have a replacement cast, everything we showed last month in Paris we are showing here. When we arrive in Zheleznogorsk, Stary Oskol, Gubkin, we feel the audience here is waiting for us. Year after year, we bring plays to you, and year after year this miracle happens. This relationship is amazing, and I hope it never comes to an end,” said Nelly Ahmadullina, the Deputy Director of MDT during the press conference.

Photo by Victor Vasilyev

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