Alexander Morfov >> news >> archive | 08.01.2018 

Morfov's "Decameron. Love in the Time of Plague" premieres in Moscow

     The long expected title at Moscow's Et Cetera theatre - "Decameron. Love in the Time of Plague", is now on. Morfov is staging his latest reading of Boccaccio's work. After a number of celebratory and teasing previews the premiere will be officially held on 16-th and 17-th January. There are few who have never heard of "The Decameron". To many, it's a collection of erotic stories, while to those who appreciate its poetical sounding,  a mystical world ​of ferocious love stories is unveiled. Alexander Morfov's production is also about love, of course. But love in the time of plague when the "black death" is stalking everyone and is lending you only ten days to live.

     "Boccaccio lives, even after more than six centuries - he keeps thrilling us, causing us to experience diverse emotions and to reach new senses." - Et Cetera comments. 

In 2018 marks an almost demonic jubilee - 665 since "The Decameron"

was created, while Et Cetera Theatre is celebrating its 25-th anniversary. 

"... and you will see how sacred and mighty and how ripe with blessing is the power of love, that has so often been condemned and even blasphemed by those who know not what they are talking" ~ Boccaccio, "The Decameron"

     To the director, it makes no difference where or when the action takes place - in the Renaissance or today... Back then, as well as now, human nature remains unchanged. 

     Actors are all around the space: they are on the stage, on the avant-scene, under the stage and in the end they fly up to the theatre's roof. Each scene is decided in a manner that drives the Renaissance atmosphere into modernity without any force or abuse of the text. The modern empty festivity of flesh and spirit in the production makes the classical moral values sound like a cheap imitation. 

     In some of the scenes humor dominates but in most of them the road from laughter to deep tragedy is amazingly short and buffoonery is invited.

     There is the scene of a young couple getting wed - a funny one, an easy one, poetry and farce in an unintelligible cohesion. Everything that could possibly happen to any young couple in love happens in this intermedia -  an improvisation of game whose rules are constantly being changed. 

     The surprise about the production is its humor which becomes ever more darker towards the ending when finally it leads to a tragic resolution.

     One of the scenes is a photograph in genre: a wedding in costumes from the times of the Medici which is shortly ruined by the aggression of modern technologies. As soon as the girl goes under the wedding wreath, her hand starts bleeding and her death is approaching. A moment before she dies she becomes part of a silent film. Silent cinema shows the reality which is forbidden for the girl in her real life. In this production silent cinema equals dreams, love, fantasy, bliss, and makes them all possible even in the time of plague.

~ "The Short Roads of Love in the Time of Plague", BCI - Moscow [original in Russian ]

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