The Karamazov Brothers

A play by Lev Dodin based on Dostoevsky
Main programme
18 June 2021Friday
Voronezh Academic Drama Theatre named after A.Koltsov — big stage

The Maly Drama Theatre - Theatre of Europe (St. Petersburg)

Director - Lev Dodin

Artist - Alexander Borovsky

Lighting designer - Damir Ismagilov

Director's assistant - Nikita Sidorov

Teacher-tutor - Mikhail Alexandrov

The play features the music by Ludwig van Beethoven, Alexander Gurilyov

Performed by:

Igor Ivanov - Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov

Igor Chernevich - Dmitry Fedorovich Karamazov

Stanislav Nikolsky - Ivan Fedorovich Karamazov

Evgeny Sannikov - Alexey Fedorovich Karamazov

Oleg Ryazantsev - Pavel Fedorovich Smerdyakov

Elizaveta Boyarskaya - Katerina Ivanovna Verkhovtseva

Ekaterina Tarasova - Agrafena Alexandrovna Svetlova

Duration - 3 hours 20 minutes with intermission

Premiere - November 16, 2020

One of the 10 Best Performances of 2020, according to the Theatre Critics Association.

Lev Dodin: "Perhaps nowhere do the characters tell so much about other characters of the same story as in Dostoevsky's.  In addition, they always speak the truth about the other. But this is the truth of the one who says it. However, after a few pages, he will say quite the opposite about the same person, and again, this will be the absolute truth.

Nobody talks about himself so much and in such a detail as the characters of Dostoevsky. And all this is always true. But this is the truth of the one who says it. In a few pages, he will say the exact opposite about himself, and again, this will be the utter truth.

It appears that nobody talks so much and in such a detail about his characters as Dostoevsky. And he always speaks the truth. But the truth about a person on the first page completely denies the truth about this same person on the hundredth one, and on the eight hundredth one this and all other "truths" collapse. And it goes on and on.

And it is so not because Dostoevsky's characters have a narrow outlook and they do not see much in others, and not because Dostoevsky's people love themselves so much or hate themselves so much that they are able to say only good or only bad things about themselves.

And it is so not because Dostoevsky doesn’t know his characters properly and rushes from one interpretation to another.

It's just that Dostoevsky's Man is incomprehensible, Dostoevsky's Man is incomprehensible by definition. Dostoevsky’s Man has no bottom, and therefore you drown in him, choking; and there is no heavenly firmament, so you fly into space with him, gasping for breath. Either you fall into an open abyss, or you take off into the dense, heavy space of black holes.

Dostoevsky does not talk about a person, does not describe a person, does not even study a person, he wanders around a personality in a daze of delight and horror, ecstatic horror and terrible delight.

For several years we wandered in the footsteps of Dostoevsky, and today we share our wanderings about the Karamazovs, about life, about Dostoevsky, about ourselves.

Or maybe we just continue to wander with our audience".

 "After this performance, which leaves no hope, almost certain of the godless arrangement of everything at once (in whose likeness these characters and this world were created?), you feel like a human being, precisely "in the image and likeness"... Dodin staged a hopeless, evil, ruthless to a person and the country performance-judgment, that somehow does not kill you, but somehow, you know, exactly on the contrary... One cannot forget it...".

Marina Dmitrevskaya, "Petersburg Theatre Journal"

"The Karamazov Brothers" had being prepared at the MDT for four long years, almost in secret. And it was released swiftly, on the eve of the lockdown, in the midst of an unknown new plague, and ... it gave us a feeling of incomprehensible, burning, bravura joy. Its nature is difficult to convey and comprehend".

Alena Karas,