This performance is an awardee of the GOLDEN MASK theatre award in the Best Director’s Work and Best Artist’s Work categories.
The stage life of The Marriage novel by of N.V. Gogol began on the stage Alexandrinsky Theatre 170 years ago. In the first performance, the role of Podkolyosin was played by the great Russian actor Alexander Martynov. Ever since then The Marriage has always been a pearl in Alexandrinsky Theatre’s playbill together with The Inspector General.
The staging of Gogol’s plays has always defined the creative frame within the Theatre’s company. Those performances always became flagship ones.
Following The Inspector General, the Artistic Director of Alexandrinsky Theatre, Valery Fokin, decided to stage The Marriage. He has been drawing inspiration fr om Gogol’s works for many years.
The given performance was created on the verge of the writer’s 200th anniversary. In his performance, Valery Fokin describes a bitter conflict between the main character, who is trying to protect his personality, and the reality that is turning into something absurd, even grotesque. This reality forces people to do weird things and participate in awkward situations that seem to be caused by evil spirits. One of such awkward situations is the marriage proposals of six different bachelors to Agafya Tikhonovna Kuperdyagina, a merchant’s daughter. Even in her dreams and fantasies, she fails to find a husband-to-be that would have a full set of good human qualities. The image of a knockabout comedy that is showed now fr om the inside then from the outside created by a well-known Scenery Designer Alexander Borovsky emphasyses the active dynamics of the main character’s transition from his inner world wh ere he feels comfortable and safe, almost like Oblomov lying on his sofa, to the outer world – a hostile and unstable world, wh ere the self-confidence of the main character disappears.
The first night took place on the 18th January 2008
Media about the
“Valery Fokin grants his Podkolyosin a right to remain a lyric character, to remain unmarried, especially in the atmosphere of Russian absurd. He is a dreamer, and, to a certain extent, a poet. How artful is his final dialogue before he jumps out of the window!”
Olga Galakhova. Gogol on ice
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, January 2008
“… within the past 165 years no one has ever staged The Marriage using figure skates. Such interpretation of the play is indeed unexpected and highly creative. Though the performance is very spectacular and seems to have been created to touch upon the most acute matters, it is very stable, structured, and perfect in terms of acting. It will definitely withstand the test of time, even several of them”.
Irina Korneeva. The Marriage on skates
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, January 2008
“The Marriage in Alexandrinsky Theatre is one of the most artful and cheerful performances held on our stage within few past years. Each of its elements fulfils its purpose”.
Olga Egoshina. Skates for Agafya Tikhonovna
Novye Izvestia, January 2008
“The Marriage is easy and convenient to review: the images are easy to remember, as if imprinted into the retina, and to characterise. The events develop quickly and dynamically. Though there are plenty of things that attract attention, they are properly structured within the 2 hours of the performance, so the time flies notelessly”.
Tatiana Dzhurova. The Marriage of our time
Peterburgskii Teatralnyi Zhurnal, February 2008