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A play about Dubrovka in London
Written by Мария Гречанинова   
Понедельник, 18 Сентябрь 2006

By Maria Grechaninova    

 

Сцена из спектакля

Armed people on stage, and hostages in the auditorium.  These, and others, wait to see what the Russian authorities will do.  Thus it was in Moscow in 2002, and the same is happening now on stage in the theaters in London, only this time it is merely a show.

 

A month before the fourth anniversary of the tragedy at Dubrovka, the New End Theater in London has started to show ‘In Your Hands’, which is based on real events: the seizure of hostages during the musical ‘Nord-Ost’ in Moscow.

Songwriter Natalya Pelewine says that she could not avoid this them, since the tragedy occurred in a theater.

“People went to the show and were to return home that night, but they were prisoners for 57 hours,” she says.  “And here’s this aspect of it: people who were spectators then became the center of events, and I found this interesting from an artistic standpoint.”

Наталья Пелевайн  
In the foyer of the theater hangs a warning: “The show portrays shootings, rough language, and harsh scenes.  It is not recommended for viewing by children.”  The main heroines are two women – a hostage named Natasha, and a ‘black widow’ named Seda.  Coincidentally, Seda’s brother was the first love of Natasha when she was a journalist working in Chechnya.

Many of the secondary heroes sit in the auditorium among the spectators.  They unexpectedly begin to speak, argue, remember, and make cell phone calls home to calm their relatives. 

In one of the show’s closing scenes a thick haze rolls into the auditorium.  Many of the actors then begin to die.

The theater and life

Сергей Карпов

 
Sergey Karpov’s son died as a result of the hostage rescue operation at Dubrovka.  Now he has come to London for the premier of the show, ‘In Your Hands’.

“Art, it is not just entertainment, it is not just a show, it is a beautiful fulcrum for anything, including the fight against terrorism,” says Sergey Karpov.  “The authorities, yours and ours, they say that we have to fight.  But how?  Nothing is clear, but the show demonstrates that we must unite, and not let this evil go unanswered.”

The creators of the show say that psychology is more important to them than politics, but such a theme could not avoid politics, nor was this their desire.

According to the show’s director, Julian Woolford, the artist’s duty is to ensure that terrible events are not forgotten.

“If you’re watching TV, every night you see suicide bombers and terror acts,” he says.  “This is one of the most important themes of our day, and as artists we are required to talk about it.  Otherwise it would mean that we weren’t fulfilling our duties.”

According to Natalya Pelewine, she has been trying to bring the show to Moscow and has already started tryouts for the show there.  She has not been able to bring the show to the Russian capital, however, but Natalya has not lost hope.


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