The play "Chapayev and Pustota", directed by Maxim Didenko, is based on the novel by Victor Pelevin, the most enigmatic classical writer of the new Russian literature. This performance in three acts is about existence between opposite poles of being: between reality and illusion, East and West, politics and existential, past and present.
Act I: ‘A Garden of parting Peters’ A concert of a fictitious rock-band. In their song it tells the plot of a novel.
Act II: ‘Black boublik’ A dispute between three chavs on the essence of Being
Act III: ‘Conditional River of Absolute Love’ A ballet about submersion into nothing
“The result is a psychotherapeutic comprehensive meta-performance, a specific flight of released spirit, addressing to each and everyone on Earth. Must be exciting” Maxim Didenko.
Maxim Didenko, theatre director, choreographer, pedagogue. Graduated St. Petersburg Theatre Arts Academy in 2005. Stages the performances in different theaters in the country. Amongst most recent productions: ‘Earth’ (2015, The Alexandrinsky Theatre), ‘The Idiot’ and ‘The Circus’ (2015 and 2017, Theatre of Nations, Moscow). Maxim Didenko’s performances have been repeatedly nominated for various theatrical awards, including Golden Mask, Golden Sophite, the Breakthrough. Maxim Didenko received St. Petersburg ‘The Breakthrough’ theater award for young artists as Best Director in 2014 for his ‘The Overcoat. Ballet’ (2013, ContArt Centre), ‘Snob’ magazine “Made in Russia-2016” award in theatre nomination for his ‘Pasternak. My Sister – Life’ (Gogol Center, Moscow).
The production was made possible by the support of The Government of Moscow and The Department for Culture of the City of Moscow
Premiered on November 18, 2016
Media about the
This performance is Maxim Didenko’s personal strategy for surviving: to outlive the time through aesthetics, through contemplation of colour, sound, matter and shape. The history burns itself to ashes, legends melt down and leave us reveling in symbols and shapes with perpetually transforming content, if any.
Pavel Rudnev, theatre critic
You expect much, because Maxim Didenko is in charge of the production – that very Didenko, who directed ‘Black Russian’ and ‘Pasternak’ at Gogol Center, as well as ‘Red Cavalry’. ‘Chapayev and Pustota’ is a prose of an exceptional power, which instantly becomes a season’s must see when performed by a talented company.
In our view, this production of Didenko and the course of Brusnikin is the best recent performance of Praktika Theatre. A better interpretation of Pelevin’s novel can hardly be imagined: it is an enchanting psychedelic action in three absolutely unalike acts. It grants a pure and unprecedented pleasure, like the one you experience after finishing reading of the novel for the first time. It is Didenko all over, and an upper level of achievement.