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German play about tragic events in Russia
Written by Татьяна Попова   
Понедельник, 17 Январь 2011
German play about tragic events in Russia is put on stage in Omsk
ImageThe day after tomorrow, the ‘5th Theater’ will premiere the play ‘Nord-Ost’, written by German dramatist Torsten Buchsteiner. This fall, Moscow theater critic Roman Dolzhansky noted that the performance should enter into the theater’s repertoire. The phrase was prophetic.
Background to its appearance on the stage
‘Nord-Ost’ is that rare case when a play is included in the repertoire after its first sketch. It was first presented at the Laboratory of Contemporary Drama and Directing in October last year. Directorial work was by an actor from the ‘5th Theater’, Yevgeny Fomintsev, who narrates the events of the 2002 capture of Dubrovka. The play caused a large emotional response from Omsk audiences, and has attracted the attention of the theater critics in the capital.
In autumn 2010, theater critic Roman Dolzhansky told reporters that this performance would be worthy of entering the theater’s repertoire: “It’s probably hard to put on this play several times a month, but it could be shown on memorable dates such as September 11th or on the anniversary of the Beslan tragedy. It would be useful to remind young people about them.”
‘Nord-Ost’ director Yevgeny Fomintsev agreed that the show is primarily aimed at a young audience: “The tragedy on Dubrovka occurred 8 years ago, and today’s youth hardly remember those horrible events. They only know that the terrorists were eventually neutralized, but during those few days hundreds of innocent victims perished. The play is intended to remind us about the world in which we live. After all, similar events take place every day in various parts of the globe, so it’s worth thinking about them.”
Endless Tragedy
‘Nord-Ost’ is a play with a powerful energy, and such plays are rare in our day. It is the story of three characters whose lives intersect on that terrible day. Chechen ‘black widow’ suicide bomber Zura (Maria Dolganeva) tells her story. Physician Tamara (Larissa Antipova) and accountant Olga (Alexandra Urdukhanova) are also in black, and are widows. Each woman’s confession is touching to the point of tears, and there are no guilty or innocent people in their stories. Olga delivers the last phrase of the play, and makes us realize that war is a vicious cycle.
“I didn’t know how the viewers would react to this show,” said the director. “It is, after all, a theme that is risky, and controversial. There could have been a harsh response from the audience, but since the debut it’s been clear that audiences still need such plays. Nowadays there are so few stories from a purely human aspect, while the public keeps demanding more and more amusement. ‘Nord-Ost’ is Tragedy in its purest form. Tragedy as a genre that is not popular and does not translate well to modern theater. The essence of theater by its very nature is tragic! Why do they come to the theater? To see, experience, and think.”
“I feel sorry for all of the heroines,” the director continued. “I basically feel sorry for people who get into such situations. I can understand when men are fighting, this is obviously how it’s always been, but when women and children are used in warfare and are maimed, it’s frightening.”
By Tatiana Popova, in ‘Vecherniy Omsk’

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