Creative return to stage

Yakub Kolas National Academic Drama Theatre revives Boat of Despair, based on Vladimir Korotkevich’s work

By Anna Bogacheva

For a long time, audiences were unable to see the performance, due to the lack of a suitable actor for the leading role. Now, experienced Alexander Bazuk has taken on the part. He is known to Vitebsk theatre-goers for playing Gorodulin in Ostrovsky’s Wise Men, for which he was awarded a prize for best supporting role during the 84th theatrical season. The new performance, staged by Mikhail Krasnobaev, involves 20 actors.

Boat of Despair isn’t the only work by this famous Belarusian writer to be staged in Vitebsk. In 1974, the theatre premiered a performance based on Korotkevich’s Bells of Vitebsk, attended by the author himself. In 1978, spectators were offered the tragedy Kastus Kalinovsky and Sparrow Night in the 1990s. The theatre is now working on Leonids Won’t Return up to the Earth (or Impossible to Forget), scheduled for 2011.

Vladimir Korotkevich was the first Belarusian writer to develop historical detective stories, being given the Yakub Kolas State Award for his Black Castle of Olshany. He also won the Literary Award for his Impossible to Forget novel, alongside the Order of the Friendship of Nations. His works are vivid and boast fascinating, dynamic plots. His Ears under Your Sickle, The Wild Hunt of King Stakh, Christ Landed in Grodno and Grey Legend are mandatorily studied at school, being true masterpieces. Moreover, many works by Korotkevich have been made into films.

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