Latvian National Theatre, RigaA Town Nearby
“The Serebrennikov Case. Theatre and politics in today’s Russia” after the performance.
Hosted by Agnieszka Lubomira Piotrowska / scene dock
Kirill SerebrennikovOriginal title:
Marius IvaskeviciusLighting designer:
Ivanda Šmite, Līva DrešereProducer:
Marija Bērziņa, Maija Doveika, Dita Lūriņa, Jānis Āmanis, Gundars Grasbergs, Arturs Krūzkops, Romāns Bargais, Kārlis Reijers, Kaspars ZvīgulisPremiere:
4 March 2017
The production is supported by the Pēteris Avens “Paaudze” Foundation.
One of the most prominent Russian theatre creators, Kirill Serebrennikov, has directed an absurd comedy A Town Nearby (Tuvā pilsēta), a staging of the play by Lithuanian dramaturge Marius Ivaskevicius premiered at the Latvian National Theatre.
The play treats of complicated family and interpersonal relationships. 30-year-olds, Ivo and Annika, are in love with each other. However, family life routine, work and three children are all taking their toll on their relationship. Hardly a week goes by without Ivo escaping from his home in order to spend time with his friends and look at his own life from a third-person perspective – from a nearby town. When Annika has finally had enough, she also heads for the other town – to look at what Ivo sees, and at this exact moment their life turns upside down…
The story refers to the time we let our subconscious dreams surface and take over our minds – otherwise ever so rational and useful in our everyday existence.
(…) I am confident that a sexual, or let us say, sensuous experience is only personal and never public. (…) Theatre never draws attention to our personal experience or personal stories, which we have gone through, but which we have not forgotten, and they, put somewhere far and deep away, are taking their rest. We do not use them because in our everyday life we require something completely different. But theatre returns to our personal secrets. It is not a theatre play that causes us goose bumps – it is the very own personal experience of the audience itself that causes them. The audience does not follow the story, but rather the audience follows how they, as audience members, retrace something of their own in their own minds. The audiences of Romeo and Juliet do not pity them but, but rather themselves… In the 21st century, artists/arts are a medium, which sometimes roughly, but sometimes cautiously, takes us by our hand and leads us to a specific place without ourselves. Taking us to our mind, to our heart…
Kirill Serebrennikov, director
A Town Nearby (Tuvā pilsēta) has been translated into English, Russian, Finnish, Slovenian, Italian, and Latvian. Since its Latvian premiere, it has been staged worldwide, including Trieste (2008), Moscow (2011), Pori (2012), and Oakland (2016).
Russian theatre and film director; Artistic Director of the Gogol Center in Moscow since 2012, one of the most prominent Russian artists, recognized nationally and abroad.
Born in Rostov-on-Don, graduated with honours from the Physics Department of the Rostov State University. During his university years, he first directed in an amateur studio “69” and from 1990 onwards on professional stages. Directed 10 performances in nearly all theatres of Rostov. Recipient of numerous awards at theatre festivals, which opened the doors to Moscow for him. He directed in the best theatres in the Russian capital, including the Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre (he was the first to introduce contemporary drama to this most important stage in the country). One of the founders and artistic directors of “Territory”, a leading contemporary arts festival.
Regularly collaborated with TV stations in Rostov and Moscow: directed made over 100 commercials, 2 documentaries, 4 television performances, 2 television films and a few series of programmes. Since 1998, he has also worked in cinematography – his works include 6 feature films, 1 documentary, and 4 series.
In 2008, he was offered to conduct an experimental acting and directing course at the School-Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre. As an outcome of this course, “Seven Studios” was created in 2012, which over time became the base of the Gogol-Center.
In the years 2011-2014, served as Artistic Director of the “Platform” project at the Moscow Contemporary Art Center Winzavod. In August 2012, he became the artistic director of the Gogol Moscow Drama Theatre. Soon after taking over the stage he transformed the theatre into the hottest arts venue in the capital, featuring three resident ensembles of actors and offering a theatre and film programme, concerts, lectures, and open discussions. The Gogol Center was launched on 2 September 2013.
In 2017, Serebriennikov, along with several former associates, was unjustly accused of financial fraud and placed under house arrest. The criminal case send shock waves across Russia and abroad: the political motivation behind the accusation was emphasised in news reports worldwide. On 8 April 2019, the court lifted the house arrest on condition that the the artist did not leave his place of residence.
Recipient of the most important Russian theatre awards – “The Golden Mask”, “The Seagull”, “The Stanislavsky Award”, “The Crystal Turandot”, and film accolades – “Nike” and “Kinotaur”. His plays have been presented at major European festivals, including frequent performances at the Festival d’Avignon and the Wiener Festwochen, while his films were screened at the festivals in Berlin, Venice, and Cannes. Winner of the European Theatre Award, Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters.
This is the first stage presentation of his performances in Poland.
The Theatre Case – documentary film
Yuri’s Day – film
The Student – film
The Summer – film
Uncertainty is placed in the core of our being, nothing is certain. Each attempt to approach dark powers of mind somewhat reduces this uncertainty […] The stage production by Serebrennikov at the National Theatre is a great attempt of creative collective.
Normunds Akots, Latvijas Avīze
The director’s handwriting, on the one hand, is cool, Scandinavian abstraction and minimalism in the white space, which on the other hand is filled with physically intense, when the actors turn into a single organism.
Henrieta Verhoustinska, www.delfi.lv
The aesthetic quality of the stage production is indisputable.
Atis Rozentāls, Diena