An Enemy of the People

Henrik Ibsen
Main program
4 June 2015Thursday
Voronezh Theatre For Young Spectators — main stage

Running time – 2 hours 35 minutes with one interval

Lev Dodin is a director, the artistic and managing director of the Maly Drama Theatre. He is a member of the General Assembly of the Union of Theatres of Europe. In 2012 he was elected Honorary President of the Union of Theatres of Europe.

Lev Dodin is a laureate of K.S. Stanislavsky prize, Golden Mask national award,  Laurence Olivier award, Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (the Order of Literature and the Arts as an officer), the winner of the highest European theatre award – “Europe Theatre Prize” and a laureate of Platonov award 2012.

In 1998 the Maly Drama Theatre under Lev Dodin was the third granted the Theatre of Europe status after the Odeon in Paris and the Piccolo in Milan.

“An Enemy of the People”, based on Henrik Ibsen’s play, is full of social unrest and sounds relevant to a present-day spectator. The play was nominated for the top St. Petersburg theatre award, “The Golden Soffit”.

The premier took place in February 2013 to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Konstantin Stanislavsky, who directed “Doctor Stockman”, based on Ibsen’s play, at Moscow Art Theatre at the beginning of the last century, and played the lead in the performance.

In 1901 the production – quite unexpectedly for its creator – took on a revolutionary ring, and Stockman himself became a people’s hero – there had been a student demonstration against student enlistment, dispersed by the police, next to Kazansky cathedral, St. Petersburg on the day of the performance. That evening, at the end of the play when Dr. Stockman called for fight for freedom and truth, the audience went wild and broke into a long standing ovation. “Very many people misunderstood what Stanislavsky was trying to say, - Lev Dodin confesses. - As he himself put it, not without a touch of bitter irony: the society wanted a revolutionary hero, so Stockman was turned into one. Though Stanislavsky himself though he was playing someone different”.

When Lev Dodin embarked on the production, he did not envisage a similar effect. He claims he was staging a deeply personal story about good sooner or later defeating evil, even against all odds. However, it is up to Platonov festival spectators to decide how Ibsen’s play written in 1882 sounds on the present-day stage.

“It is a harsh and hopeless diagnosis given to society and, at the same time, a deep existential drama of an intelligent, honest individual”

Elena Gerusova, Kommersant