Et Cetera Theatre, Moscow, Russia
premiere 2 October 1999, Main stage
Set design and costumes
Miguel de Cervantes
100 min., with intermission
Alexander Kalyagin, Vladimir Simonov, Maria Skosyreva, Viktor Verzhbitskiy, Olga Belova, Alexandr Davydov, Tatyana Vladimirova, Marina Churakova, Nikolay Molochkov, Natalya Blagih, Alena Ivchenko, Alexandr Jogol, Andrey Kondakov, Aleksey Osipov, Sergey Plotnikov, Vladimir Skvortsov, Natalya Zhitkova
The project is a co-production between
Et Cetera Theatre and the Russian Theatre Agency
A production about events that will openly reveal themselves to the one who witnesses them, if only one's eyes are sincere.
- A few years ago you staged “Don Quixote” at your National Theatre [Bulgaria]. Why did you decide to turn again to Cervantes’ novel?
- I read “Don Quixote” for the first time back in my school years. After that I’ve returned to it many times and each time there was something new to find. I can compare this novel to a file that is saved and is waiting for you to open it once again. Of course, I might be wrong for certain things, but I’m honest. The director is also a Don Quixote.
- What is the main idea found in your production?
- I’ve been long interested in mythological personalities. For instance we know that if there’s a smiling person with moustache, it’s Einstein. We know his connection to the theory of relativity but we never think about what he actually did, what is his place in the world of physics, in the world as a whole. I’m trying to oppose such superficial concepts. We are used to the image of Don Quixote as a tall, thin man, somewhat crazy, a
little aged, who thinks of himself as of a knight-errant. I find Don Quixote a normal person, wise and very dignified. He has come a far way to realise that there is nothing more important in this world than dignity. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are the same person. Everyone who was once born as Sancho Panza must evolve to a Don Quixote and vice versa because the world keeps shaking. Beckett was quite right saying in “Waiting for Godot” that for each one who begins to weep, somewhere else another stops.
- Why did you decide to stage your “Don Quixote” at the Et Cetera Theatre?
- I had just seen for yet another time Nikita Mikhalkov’s film “An Unfinished Piece for the Player Piano” and thought that Alexander Kalyagin is an actor who can embody my Don Quixote. Then I had a lucky meeting with the producer David Smelyansky who presented me to Kalyagin. He loved the idea. He said that he was offered the role of Sancho Panza a thousand times but he had always refused because it’s the more superficial one. This is how my destiny brought me to the Et Cetera Theatre.
- The set design and the costumes for your production are created by one of the most distinguished theatre artists Edward Kochergin. What are your relations?
- I’m afraid of the classics. They remind me of a marble statue impossible to argue with, and that’s why I was afraid of meeting with a classic such as Kochergin. But it turned out that there is not a hint of academism in him. I was stunned to see a man of this grandeur who had preserved his ability for instant improvisation. I don’t know what the production will prove to be but can say with certainty that his work is beautiful.
Excerpts from an interview with Alexander Morfov by Elena Vladimirova, Moskovskie novosti, 7.09.1999