Alexander Lazarev staged "Running" in Lenkom: the beauty of Kyiv and a chemist from Mariupol
In "Lenkom Mark Zakharov" the premiere of the once anti-Soviet play "Running" by Mikhail Bulgakov, banned by Stalin. Directed by Alexander Lazarev, it is tragically modern. The performance is preceded, like a slogan, by the words: “In Russia, everything changes in 10 years, nothing changes in 100 years.” It is believed that this phrase belongs to Pyotr Stolypin, but in Lenkom it is accompanied by an explanation: "The author has not been established ...".
In 1978, Andrei Goncharov staged "Running", one of his best performances, at the Theater. Mayakovsky. Alexander Lazarev saw him more than once as a child, since his mother, Svetlana Nemolyaeva, played Seraphim, and his father, Alexander Lazarev Sr., Roman Khludova. It was a strong impression that largely determined the choice of profession. Lazarev Jr. also dreamed of playing Khludov, but it’s good that he didn’t do it in his own performance - having given the role to other artists, he overcame his ambitions. Svetlana Nemolyaeva appeared in the Lenkom hall at the very end of the performance - she came to support her son.
This is the second directorial work of Alexander Lazarev in Lenkom, but the first is completely independent. Prior to that, he resumed the "Memorial Prayer" by Mark Zakharov. And now he has staged a play about love for the motherland, without which hell, longing, death, loss of roots, dreams of returning. He does not see any outcome, except for his homeland. But not everyone now makes a choice in her favor, and everyone is free to perceive this or that decision in their own way. Goncharov once shouted to Nemolyaeva during a rehearsal: “Sveta, tell me about your homeland!” — and it has already become a legend. Now her son is talking about her.
He retained the aesthetics of Zakharov - not intentionally, as he himself says, but having absorbed himself over the years of work in the theater. In the foyer near the portrait of Zakharov there are fresh flowers. His breath makes itself felt on stage and in the auditorium. Like his performances, influential people now come to the premiere of "Running", not only the creative elite. This time, among the guests were Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov (Lazarev's classmate) with Tatyana Navka (knowledgeable people say that it was she who initiated the trips to the theater, since she is well-informed in the artistic environment of her generation, she is friends with many), Minister of Culture Olga Lyubimova, head of the cultural department of Moscow Alexander Kibovsky, Tigran Keosayan with a shining neckline Margarita Simonyan, directors Mark Rozovsky and Andrey Zhitinkin. Now, the status of a "star" is increasingly being claimed not by artists, but by politicians and persons close to politics. An agile young man squeezed into the lobby to Dmitry Peskov, and he kindly took a picture with him.
Interestingly, Alexander Lazarev is rarely seen at social events or festivals. If he comes somewhere, then briefly, to present a film or receive an award. At the same time, the performance he staged became a kind of resonant social event. Of course, there are no mounted police and fences, as happened in Lenkom during the days of premieres in the 1980s, but a feeling of something grand and significant was in the air.
Work on the play began over a year ago. The director did not put any momentary meanings into it, but they climbed out of all the cracks. The heroes flee into the unknown, leave their homes, cities, countries in the fire of the Civil War, participate in the defense of the Crimea. And all this is so fresh and understandable ... When the phrase about a chemist from Mariupol sounds, and the white general Charnota, whose role is played by Maxim Averin, who is invited, speaks about the beauty of Kyiv, it becomes alarming. The scene is plunged into darkness. An acrid veil covers her, irritating her eyes and nose. Spectators begin to cough, take out their handkerchiefs. This haze of dreams accompanies the entire performance.
The first and second acts are completely different in spirit and aesthetics. These are “Motherland” and “Foreign Land”, as the two parts of the film “Running” by Alov and Naumov were once called, the names of which were censored in the early 1970s. Lazarev's first act is slender and Bulgakov's, stylish in its own way. The second resembles a caravanserai. Such is the noisy and theatrical Constantinople with neon advertising. Here the muezzin began to sing, people in red fezzes appeared, merchants, sailors, foreigners, Russian soldiers ... The city shone with signs "Russian buckwheat", "Cockroach races". All former heroes, strong people, suddenly turned into mummers.
Artist Olga Nikitina came up with a lot of things without overloading the stage. For example, an infinitely long table that cannot be hidden in the wings - it can only be lifted from the stalls, which was done. He recalled the table that struck everyone, at which, after covid, the president of the country received subordinates and guests. In "Running", they try to break the professor's son Sergei Golubkov after him so that he writes a denunciation of Serafima Korzukhina. And if in the beginning Olga Nikitina - and she is also a costume designer - dressed all Russians in gray clothes down to boots, then in foreign life the colors began to play like in a music hall.
Quite realistic heroes at some point seem to cease to be ordinary people, turn into phantoms, characters in computer games or fantastic blockbusters. It looks spectacular, but the technique is repeated fragmentarily. In general, a lot of things are involuntarily borrowed, inspired by impressions from cinema and other performances; but there are also completely original solutions.
What, if not a stroke, can explain Khludov's strange speech in Constantinople. Until recently, a giant, a mighty Russian man with legs wide apart, in a huge overcoat, which is like a house, suddenly begins to speak with a Caucasian accent, sluggishly. Igor Mirkurbanov played Khludov powerfully, but too loudly. There was not enough silence. Once upon a time, Vladimir Naumov and Alexander Alov invited Vladislav Dvorzhetsky, a little-known artist from Omsk, to this role in the film "Running". He was chosen for his ability to remain silent, behind his talking back. The most spectacular scene is with Mirkurbanov, sitting on a carpet, as if in a mosque or on a flying carpet, which slowly shrinks, as if covering up the traces of Khludov leaving into the unknown.
Andrey Leonov is becoming more and more like his father Yevgeny Leonov - facial expressions, intonations, gestures. He comically played the pampered Paramon Ilyich Korzukhin, the minister who renounced his wife Serafima. Maxim Averin, the white general of Charnot, walking around Paris in underpants, also played comically, although drama was laid in this role. But nature took its toll, and such a reading is still closer to Bulgakov.
Nikolay Parfenyuk wrote the music especially for the performance, introduced the theme of rock, which is typical for many performances of Lenkom. In the finale, the actors will sing the words of Vasily Zhukovsky "Rest, who finished his run!". They sound like an epitaph to all those who have left.