An Attila Vidnyánszky, prominent Hungarian Director, representative of the new wave in European production in the 1990s, Artistic Director of the National Theater of Hungary (Nemzeti Szinhas), performance shown at the Eighth International Alexandrinsky Theater Festival .
The Winged Man is an attempt of a modern mystery. This is a confabulated history of space exploration and the eternal urge of human beings for flying with real characters and historical personages: Gagarin, Titov, Nelyubov, Tsiolkovsky, Korolev, Khrushchev, Stalin; based on archive documents, classified until very recently and released from restricted-access collection after the 50-year term expiration, it is told as a fiction and fairy tale. The multi-figure director’s composition allowed space for Leonardo da Vinci and wondering Little King (the character of the legend about the fourth magus of Russian origin).
The philosophy of the production is based on the principle of turning myths into reality, a legend. Oleg Zhukovsky, an apprentice of Andrey Moguchy, authored the dramaturgy of The Winged Man; the literary tissue of the performance includes the text of his play about cosmonauts, modern Hungarian lyrics, text excerpts from Tsiolkovsky’s Space Theory, and apocryphal stories.
In this performance, the public is as if placed in the hub of the universe, under the wire pavilion of heaven; the seats are installed on a movable turning circle, and the public is literally moving from one plot twist to another.
“The miraculously emerging Baikonur Space Airfield reminds of an ancient boat with wings. ‘Fairytale fellows’ Gagarin and Titov eat small bird eggs in a hope to become winged and feathered people; business-like Stalin mastering in space sciences is following an old ritual and coats his torso and shoulders with honey and sprinkles this all with chicken feathers.” On the original Hungarian billboard, this performance was called exactly this way: Fairytale Fellows with Wings. Critic Nockolay Pesochinsky identified the genre of this performance as following: “this is an apocryphal story revealing dreams behind the facts.”