Gogol style performances

Maxim Gorky National Academic Drama Theatre launches new Season of Belarusian Drama with The Executor
By Yury Pinchuk

Staged by Artistic Director Sergey Kovalchik, the play features Anatoly Golub, Klementina Batenkova, Emilia Pranskute, Alexandra Bogdanova, Yelena Dubrovskaya, Ivan Matskevich (Belarus’ Honoured Artiste) and many other famous actors.

Alexey Dudarev’s The Executor has an interesting history, being written under the pseudonym of Denis Shvabsky — in true Gogol style! The venerable modern Belarusian playwright clearly wanted to see if his work would be ‘rated’ when presented ‘alone’. He e-mailed it to the Russian Theatre, who accepted the play enthusiastically, and Mr. Kovalchik decided to stage it immediately. He then contacted the ‘unknown’ playwright and found that Mr. Dudarev was behind the work.

The play is a continuation of Gogol’s Inspector and is quite experimental. Some Gogol fans may be doubtful but neither Mr. Kovalchik nor Mr. Dudarev is shy of pushing boundaries. Those familiar with Ivan Khlestakov’s adventures in a Russian provincial city will certainly be curious to see what might have happened after the famous last, silent scene. The premiere received rave reviews so it seems likely that the play will enjoy theatrical success.

The 2013-14 Belarusian drama season marks the 80th jubilee for the Maxim Gorky National Academic Drama Theatre. Another premiere is to be presented in mid-July, The Oracular: based on Andrey Makayonok’s famous Intimidated Apostle and staged by Boris Lutsenko. The classical performance is expected to cause a stir. Rehearsals also continue for Nikolay Rudkovsky’s Demons: Post Scriptum (based on Fiodor Dostoevsky’s novel).

“Belarusian drama is not seasonal,” notes Mr. Kovalchik, adding, “In this respect, the name of our project is conventional. Our theatre boasts rich traditions of staging plays written by domestic playwrights and writers: classical and contemporary.”
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