The new performance is Valery Fokin’s new rendition of the 2011 performance, which used to be given on the seventh tier of The Alexandrinsky Theatre Historical Stage. Valery Fokin turns back to this subject for a reason. He keeps returning to Nikolai Gogol’s novels, essays and life to come up with new modern ideas and plots. So far, Valery Fokin has created about twenty performances based on Gogol’s works, starting with his student project The Nose, which had been staged in the Shchukin Theatre School with the cooperation of Konstantin Raikin and Yury Bogatyrev even before the comedy The Marriage appeared on the Alexandrinsky Theatre Stage.
Your Gogol. The Last Monologue does not just give the account of the writer’s last days; it also provides the insight into his ultimate fate and philosophic and religious convictions, as well as giving suggestions about the proper place for an artist in modern life. The performance is based on historical documents as well as the fiction, articles and letters of the author.
The performance premiered on December 17, 2016
Media about the
Valery Fokin staged his shortest play dealing with the longest of inner themes. From his college days’ The Nose to the recent The Carrick and Marriage, Gogol is his unchangeable author. He started off in the Alexandrinsky Theatre with rehearsals in the foyer of the fifth circle when, in the long-gone days, the author read The Government Inspector to the actors. Now, after eight years in the theatre and six big stage plays, Fokin rose yet higher – to the Alexandrinsky’s seven circle, on the small stage, to deliver his bow to the classic writer in the freedom of a lab experiment.
Marina Tokareva. This Your Gogol
Novaya Gazeta, April 2011
The edge of the stage slips off into a vista full of captivating theatrical marvels: Little Russian fairy tale fields with corncobs and huge watermelons, St. Petersburg cityscapes, Venetian sights (all of them impressive works by young artist Maria Tregubova). Black dwarfish silhouettes walking about, a young man in a frock coat with an eagle beak for a nose (Alexander Polamishev) flying on a gondola-cum-skateboard.
Olga Egoshina. Your Gogol in its entirety
Novye Izvestia, April 2011
Long hair, a fridge, a small moustache can arguably turn almost everyone into the great Russian writer. Yet Fokin attempts to invade other spheres, those where everything external and worldly is stripped of its meaning. He stages a play about the dying Gogol who pronounces a merciless judgement on himself, picturing himself a prophet at one moment and a cringing nonentity at the next, bracing himself to part from his body, almost on his own accord.
Roman Dolzhansky. Not a mere mortal
Kommersant, May 2011
Only an hour of stage time, paradoxically, can accommodate a human and literary history.
It looks almost fantastic juxtaposed to some long-lasting and wordy performances, choking with passion too importunately explained. Naturally, the span of the hour is focused, thickened, but not to the extent of being wound up in a tight spring. On the contrary, it flows by freely, slowly, but not smoothly and it breaks the set rhythm, like the dying Gogol’s pulse.
Irina Alpatova. Gogol leaves for the sky
Kultura, May 2011
This play tells us about a man who had a magnet-like attraction for all those who were careless enough to get too close to him. Then the charm of his merriment, the trait which Gogol himself appreciated, changed into anxiety and estrangement, mistrust, and – as we know – condemnation. The play is about a real individual with a real life story and a fateful part in Russian culture.
Elena Gorfunkel. Alone
The Drama Empire, May 2011