The performance was the winner of the GOLDEN MASK Russian National Theatre Award in the Best Artist’s Work (Semyon Pastukh, Scenic Design) and Best Supporting Actor (Nikolai Marton as the Stranger) categories.
This large-scale project created by the Alexandrinsky Theatre Artistic Director, Valery Fokin, was the opening event at the 8th International Theatre Festival, which was also the year of Mikhail Lermontov’s 200th anniversary. The most important goal of the performance was to create a scenic design which would accumulate the experience of the legendary Vsevolod Meyerhold’s nearly century old performance, given on the Emperor’s Stage of the Alexandrinsky Theatre in February 1917. By recreating the visual images and staging motifs of Meyerhold’s original script, reconstructing the authentic scenic design, music and rhythm to the smallest detail, the theatre offers the modern viewer a unique time-travelling opportunity.
Modern artistic and high-tech theatre methods make it possible to recreate one of the most excellent and balanced performances of the past in all its depth and beautiful detail. One of the important details was added by the unique collection of costumes and scenic props, recreated from A.Y. Golovin’s sketches for the original 1917 Masquerade performance and thus given a new life. In Masquerade. Remembrance of the Future, historical research of the great early 20th century performance goes hand in hand with deep insight into the problems of today. Masquerade’s text, as it was uttered by the 1917 performance characters, is now spoken by modern actors.
The 1917 Arbenin played by the great Alexandrinsky Theatre actor Yury Yuriev and the 21st century Arbenin both say the lines written by a twenty-six-year-old 19th century poet. And they still ring true. It is impossible to escape the specific trepidation that modern people feel as epochs are about to succeed each other…