Russian Romance

Marius Ivaškevičius
Main program
10 June 2019Monday
Voronezh concert hall — big stage
Mayakovsky Theatre, Moscow
Production - Mindaugas Karbauskis
Design – Sergey Barkhin
Evgenia Simonova as Sofia Tolstaya
Premiere – January 23, 2016
Duration - 3 hours 30 minutes with one intermission

The creation of Mindagaus Karbauskis is a fine metaphysical combination of Leo Tolstoy’s works and biography. Together with the author Marius Ivaškevičius the director weaves an intricate tapestry of several realities and epochs belonging to Leo Tolstoy’s work and personal life, in the center of which stands Sofia Andreyevna. Their love, tortured by Tolstoy’s genius, becomes a reflection of the characters’ feelings. Together with her sons and daughters, Sofia tries her best to win back from the Oblonsky and the Karenins room in her husband’s life and figure out whose story came first: her own one or the ones of his literary mistresses.  

The play was nominated for National Golden Mask Theatre in 3 categories: best large scale production, best actress (Evgenia Simonova) and best playwright (Marius Ivaškevičius). The play is also the holder of 5 MK theatre awards and the Moscow Theatre Workers Union’s “Hit of the season” award. 

 “The story of pathological jealousy in Mindagaus Karbauskis’s direction reaches the scale of an antique tragedy – mostly thanks to Evgenia Simonova’s phenomenally believable acting.”

Afisha Daily

“It seems that not only the plays based on Tolstoy’s works but also the ones written about his life could make up a whole library. Marius Ivaškevičius chose his own, unique path, and very definitely created one of the best, if not the best, play out of this imaginary collection.”


“It has been a while since a Russian play was so captivating, gave so much joy with the turn of its phrase, the unexpected twists of the playwright’s thought, the new angle of eternal themes. A large scale, multi-dimensional play, “Russian Romance” paved a new real, exciting, unpredictable path not only for the director    Mindagaus Karbauskis, but also for the theatre in general.” 


Mindagaus Karbauskis is a director currently working as the artistic director of Mayakovsky Theatre. Having graduated from Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy and GITIS directing department (Petr Fomenko’s group), he has staged plays in Moscow Tabakov’s Theatre, Moscow Art Theatre, Fomenko’s Studio, and Russian Academic Youth Theatre. 

He is the holder of youth award “Triumph” (2001), Stanislavsky award, National Theatre Golden Mask award (twice as a director for the plays “When I Was Dying” and “A Story of Happy Moscow”), “Chrystal Turandot” (twice), “Zvezda Teatrala” and the Moscow Theatre Workers Union’s  “Hit of the season” award (three times). 

Moscow Mayakovsky Theatre is one of the oldest and most reputable theatres of both Moscow and Russia. It was built in 1886 specifically to host famous theatres and actors on tour from abroad. Its stage witnessed performances of Sarah Bernard, Eleonora Duse, Ernst von Possart, Jean-Sully Mounet, Coquelin aîné, Alexandre Honoré Ernest Coquelin and many other celebrities. First the theatre in this building started functioning in 1920 as Terevsat (Theatre of Revolutionary Satire), then from 1922 as Revolution Theatre, headed by V. Meyerkhold. 

At different times the theatre was headed by A.Popov, N.Okhlopkov, A.Goncharov and S. Artsibashev. Since 2011 the theatre has been led by Mindagaus Karbauskis.

Throughout its history, the theatre has been proud of its actors, including Maria Babanova and Mikhail Astangov, Maksim Straukh and Lev Sverdlin, Faina Ranevskaya and Lidia Sukharevskaya, Armen Dzhigarkhanyan and Olga Yakovleva, Natalia Gundareva and Aleksandr Lazarev. Today the theatre’s cast includes such great masters as Svetlana Nemolyaeva, Igor Kostolevsky, Mikhail Filippov, Evgenia Simonova, Galina Anisimova, Olga Prokofyeva, Anatoliy Lobotsky, Anna Ardova, Tatiana Orlova, Lubov Rudenko, and many others.