This is not the first time director Irina Keruchenko turns to Dostoevsky’s prose. Her performance, The Meek One, staged in the White Room of the Moscow Young Viewer Theatre, made her name recognisable in the theatre-going Moscow circles, and the actor Igor Gordin (the Money-lender) won the GOLDEN MASK prize for leading male role.
In The Dream of a Funny Man the director continues exploring the paradoxes of the human essence, the agonizing duality of human nature that the Dostoevsky characters feel so acutely.
The Funny Man is himself responsible for destroying the beautiful world he had striven for with his best effort and the purest ‘endeavour of his soul’. According to the director’s idea, self-destruction theme is currently one of the most important: the story of the fall of the Funny Man, told in such great detail by Dostoevsky in his ‘science fiction story’, is not just a single event but a correct diagnosis of the modern civilisation as it is.
Actor Ivan Efremov (the Funny Man) has won the Saint Petersburg Ultimate GOLDEN SOFFIT Theatre Prize for Best Debut.
The soundtrack includes fragments of Johann Sebastian Bach and Russian folk songs Little Urchin and So Walked a Sinful Man.
The performance premiered on September 25, 2012.
Media about the
Those who have read The Dream of a Funny Man will eagerly anticipate in what way the director will show the character’s space journey with the black man, and, most of all, what the sinless Children of the Sun will look like once the character reaches their planet after his death.
Tatiana Dzhurova. The Promised Land, or The Dream of Fyodor Mikhailovich
Peterburgsky Teatralny Zhurnal, September 2012
The scenes of the character’s being one with the world, of his marveling at the beauty of life – all the products of the director’s, designer’s and the young actors’ imagination make up the most poignant, balanced and truthful scenes of the performance. A romantic earning for the beautiful weaves its way through the thickness of the pungent and frightening world, creating the strongest impression that will linger in the viewer’s soul long after the performance ends.
Elizaveta Ronginskaya. The Unhumourous Dream of the Funny Man
The Neva Room, May 2015
The Dostoevsky story is told after the fact, after the dream and the metamorphosis, by the character who has already achieved enlightenment. On the stage, the events unfold in their natural order, so we can see the character being cold, unkind and despairing. The character’s main drama is his coldness, his inability to feel his surroundings (in Dostoevsky’s own words: I want to suffer to love). The character’s awareness, acceptance and experience of his coldness is in itself, without phantasmagorical dreams, religious epiphany and metamorphosis, the actual plot of the play.
Nikolai Pesochinsky. Dostoevsky. DOC
Peterburgsky Teatralny Zhurnal,, September 2012