The performance “Not on the lists” was presented by the Theater in the South-West

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Familiar with Boris Vasiliev’s novel “Not on the Lists”, the audience is unlikely to expect that they will laugh at this performance. The first scenes are grotesque, ironic, but not mocking – “life is good and living well!” The authors are indulgent towards naive and pure youth.

Enthusiastic and incredibly beautiful girls waltz around Kolya in a brand new uniform. It is impossible not to laugh at the moment when dear Kolya indulges in dreams of how a monument will be erected to him. And then everything will be like in the story about Malchish-Kibalchish, only about him, about Kolya! “Steamboats are sailing – hello to Kolya Pluzhnikov! Pilots are flying by – hello to Kolya Pluzhnikov! The locomotives honk in his honor, and the pioneers salute Kolya.”

The world around the young lieutenant shimmers with all colors, like a huge soap bubble. The director manages to involve Colin’s dreams and the auditorium. Director Maxim Lakomkin shoots the tense expectation of tragic events like isolation, exposing nerves like wires. And the viewer, even knowing for a long time what will happen next, is not ready. Not ready, just like Kolya, like the millions of people who were hit by the war on June 22, 1941.

The first clouds are creeping into the clear, as at the Mayakovskaya metro station, the sky of Lieutenant Pluzhnikov. The disturbing pre-war peace of Brest and its environs is perceived by Kolya as a failure in the program of happiness. He is alarmed by the Jewish violinist Ruvim Svitsky (Andrey Sannikov) he met, “a man with golden fingers, golden ears and a golden heart. You can have your opinion, but it is wrong. This is true”. And his daughter, the mysterious crippled girl Mirra (Anna Rykova), with a pale, thin face and a mop of red hair, which is so different from cheerful smart Muscovites. The girl no one kissed. And in the stores, matches and salt were gone …

“We have a non-aggression pact with Germany,” Kolya desperately conjures this new strange life. But finally, the purpose of the prescription is the Brest Fortress, its memorial stone. “No one knows what is written on it.” Maybe an ancient prediction of trouble and victory that grow from the same root.

Photo: Alexander Ivanishin

Maxim Lakomkin is not only the author of the staging and director, but also the production designer. In the realistic costumes of Oleg Mazurenko, all the characters seem to have left the photographs of the Great Patriotic War. The laconic scenography is complemented by the light of Anatoly Dokin – the light here is also a storyteller. Blue for the dead, yellow for those who have retained the strength of the spirit, and orange for people close to madness…

The director easily, as far as possible, without anguish, without unnecessary exaltation, alien to Boris Vasilyev, spoke about a man who believed that the common cause depends on everyone. In his staging, Lakomkin retained the originality of Boris Vasiliev’s magnificent prose, the structure of his novel: developing from an almost comical beginning to a dramatic central part and a highly tragic finale.

Ah, Kolya, Kolya… You didn’t manage to get registered on time. The war will start in the most ridiculous way. A guy suddenly runs out to Kolya – soldier Petya Salnikov (Vadim Sokolov) in a T-shirt and family shorts, in tarpaulin boots and a helmet. Stuttering in horror, he will tell about the first deaths and the fact that the Germans are in the club. And it will be impossible to believe it. This is how Kolya Pluzhnikov’s journey to the depths of the Brest Fortress will begin. On this path he will meet Love, Betrayal, Courage, Wisdom, Madness, Meanness, Mercy, Hope and Death. Everything you ever dreamed of. Capitalized.

On this path, he will lose everyone he knew and loved, the whole motley company of the inhabitants of the basements of the Fortress – brave and weak, brave and cowardly, similar to shadows or rats. All of them will leave Kolya. Kolya will lose his name. He will become just a Russian soldier – the prototype of all the statues that stand sternly and proudly on mass graves in the radiance of eternal lights.

Photo: Alexander Ivanishin

After almost a year of stubborn resistance to the Nazis, exhausted and wounded, left without ammunition, Kolya, who is only twenty years old, will accomplish his last feat – he will save a person’s life at his own cost. And above all this, flocks of paper birds folded from the ceiling will soar on the stage. White-white storks, which Kolya never saw.

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