Valery Fokin’s performance based upon the play by Leo Tolstoy called The Live Corpse continues the series of the director’s current research into the tragic relationship of a man and the soulless reality that drives the character to escaping from the real world.
In the new rendition, Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation, Pyotr Semak plays the crucial character of Fyodor Protasov.
Speaking of The Live Corpse, Valery Fokin points out: ‘For me, the central theme of the play is the desire to escape. It is of current interest today. In our confusing, jumbled life, where everything is possible, the opportunity to voluntarily break out of the vicious circle is very important. Nowadays, one may even come across some totally sane personalities, who, nonetheless, eschew the social comforts, unable to integrate into a society which is based on falsehoods.
I am interested in the mind of Fyodor Protasov whose decision is not the result of another binge or a momentary high, is not made out of the appeal of the gypsies’ romantic freedom, but is thought over carefully and comes from the depth of his soul. I think that in this play in particular, Tolstoy is very close to Dostoevsky in his endeavor to see inside the character, to see what really goes on in his psyche.
Valery Fokin’s second rendition of the performance is the fourth Alexandrinsky Theatre production of The Live Corpse.
The play was staged by Vsevolod Meyerhold and A. Zakharov (1911 production, reconstructed by N. Arbatov in 1921) and by V. Kozhich and A. Dauson in 1950. The main character Fyodor Protasov has been played by such outstanding actors as Roman Apollonsky, Pavel Samoilov, illarion Pevtsov and Nikolai Simonov.
The performance premiered on February 21, 2015
Media about the
A truly unique feature of a theatrical production: Fokin’s Live Corpse/Third Option provides real answers. Confident, manlike, concise. Rhyming Tolstoy with Dostoevsky, the performance tells us that no matter how agonizing our dilemmas, there’s always a third option. A third but not the last.
Irina Korneeva. The Importance of Not Being a Hero
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, April 2015
The beauty of the large installation erected in a vast open space is cold and stark. Metal grates, the elevator shaft net, the green curved metal railing rods with their floral pattern – here we are faced with the unbreakable foundation of the Universe.
Evgenia Tropp. Newly Alive
Peterburgsky Teatralny Zhurnal, February 2015
The Third Option is a territory of endless and dangerous relationship illusions.
Liliya Schitenburg. Impossible to Fall asleep or to Wake up
Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti, March 2015
The new performance by Valery Fokin, The Third Option, is a good example of changing the tone of a letter by changing the font. It is enough to change straight letters into cursive – and the result is a surprisingly new message.
Elena Gorfunkel. Cursive
Voprosy Teatra, #1/2. 2015