Pilgrims and Hussars

Moscow Theatre OKOLO doma Stanislavskogo, Russia, 2003
Authors: Alexander Vampilov, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
Directed by Youri Pogrebnitchko

about the production

Pogrebnitchko does not create individual performances but rather some kind of his own theatre serial, where authors of different periods peacefully coexist within a single series (Dostoevsky and Volodin, Vampilov and Chekhov). Sets and costumes almost do not change – they are always remnants of the Soviet way of life: decrepit doors and benches, outworn coats, and a plaster girl with an oar. Time flows slowly and quietly. (...) The Prozorov sisters, the officers leaving their town, and the Sarafan family where the “elder son” has just arrived. (...) If you ask Youri Pogrebnitchko, what connects the works of Chekhov and Vampilov apart from “familiar” titles, he will certainly answer that both authors and their characters died: if a reason is needed, then this is it.

Oleg Zintsov, Vedomosti

Pogrebnitchko collects his ideas, mixes them, creates new fragments and he reads the plays as poems. He always surprises: Is this really Chekhov‘s text, so contemporary and unexpectedly comical? And the dialogues of Vampilov‘s heroes that seem provincially straightforward when being read, suddenly become deep and witty.

Alena Solntseva, Vremya novosti

The actors master a special art of speech, everyday talk as if completely indifferent, just pronouncing the given words. As if they were not actors, as if they only met each other, talked a bit, and left.

Youri Fridshteyn, Literaturnaya gazeta

There is no doubt that Pogrebnitchko has found his unique way of staging Vampilov. He has united the very traditional form of the Elder Son by a structure based on rapid change of situations underlined by the music of the sixties with its banal and comic, as well as heart-welling internationalism. (...) Pogrebnitchko constantly recalls the Soviet past – he has no intention to forget about it. He belongs to the generation that grew up in that past and understood that denying their own history made no good. The past radiates from every word and phrase in The Seagull or The Elder Son.

Béatrice Picon-Vallin, Paris

All periods, all recollections, and even phantom pains coexist simultaneously in his theatre. He fits periods and their manners in ideal images with a strike of banality and he plays with all of that.

Natalia Kazyimina, Kultura


directed by Youri Pogrebnitchko
set: Youri Kononenko, Viktor Pushkin
costumes: Nadezhda Bakhvalova
music: songs of Bulat Okudzhava and Alexei Nikulnikov
Anton Alexejev, Olga Beshula, Vladimir Bogdanov, Lilia Dobrianskaya, Alexei Levinski, Nikita Loguinov, Tatiana Loguinova, Elena Makhrova, Alexei Nikulnikov, Michail Palatnik, Jurij Pavlov, Elena Pavlova, Valerij Prokhorov, Ivan Sigorskikh, Natalia Shaldybina, Vladimir Vorobiev, Alexander Zotov, Natalia Zotova, Alexander Zyblev


Youri Pogrebnitchko (1939)

A graduate of acting at the Leningrad State Academy of Drama, Music and Film. Since early seventies he worked with Youri Ljubimov in the Taganka Theatre, first as an actor in the legendary productions of the theatre, later as the assistant of the director. In the late seventies and early eighties, he received enthusiastic response for his staging of The Three Sisters by Chekhov and The Elder Son by Vampilov. The following years he worked in several theatres in Russia, made over thirty productions of various genres, always with favourable response from theatre critics and audience.

In 1987 he founded the theatre “Na Krasnoj Presne“ in Moscow, today called the “OKOLO“ Theatre, which gained a dominant position in contemporary theatre for its distinctive directorial methods and was received with enthusiastic response also abroad – the theatre took part in the festivals in Switzerland, France, Italy, Great Britain, Canada, Poland….

The most important awards:
1994 – title of Merited Artist; 1998 - The Golden Masque Festival – nominations for the Best production and the Best direction of the season (Cherry Orchard); First Prize at the Edinburgh International Festival for the Russian Nostalgia (nostalgic cabaret); 2000 – title of National Artist; 2003 – The Golden Masque Festival – nomination for the Award of critics for Pilgrims and Hussars, a State Award for outstanding merits in contemporary theatre (Pilgrims and Hussars).

Materials available

Video of the production: no
Scripts of the production: SK, RU

If you are interested in these materials, write to archivy@nitrafest.sk