Mikhail Shvydkoi about the new show: “Why do we have persuaded ourselves that life is terrible?”

The musical theatre is preparing a new surprise — an updated, or rather, a completely new version of the concert performance with the brilliant entertainer Mikhail Shvydkoi “Life is beautiful”. In fact, it will open the new season in September. And yet… in Pushkin are mysterious cooking: from St. Petersburg came the legendary theatrical artist Edward Kochergin, and with a friend (so 50 years) — Mikhail Nikolayev, representative of a dying profession now — the master-manufacturer of decorative layout.

Eduard Kochergin.

Who is now making models of scenery? — Smiles bitterly Kochergin. — Everybody wants to resort to 3D projection. Clearly, the digital age, high-tech, but there is no life. And the layout look — imagination wakes up. The Director, the artist, the choreographer. And from the discussion, and once — fresh ideas.

…But a few words about “Life is beautiful”. Yes, rare blocks, she was in musical Theatre, Tom is still in Fili, was a great success, but Pushkin square makes its own adjustments — it is necessary to raise the bar to the next. And according to the Director Marina Shvydkoi, the action acquires greater solidity, will become more of a spectacle than a Divertissement. While considering thematic units, selected songs, look — one of the artists to invite to the group, and who the soloists. Likely to be aged historical vector — it’s easier to perceive: Utesov songs, war songs, foreign music, world musicals…

— We long thought how to name our new play, — says Mikhail Shvydkoi, because in the new room in the new space, in a building having more than half a century of history, we would like to create a play depicting the life of people in XX century. But with the help of songs. It will be a completely new production, we work over her long and hard.

And on account of the name, thought, wondering, went over everything and decided to keep the old — “Life is beautiful”. It best reflects what we want to do. It is not “old songs about the main”, not “new songs of old”, this is a play about our lives, and that she is beautiful. And today it has a special meaning. Because so often we adjure ourselves and say that life is terrible. But life is what we do. And we want to tell each viewer that comes into the room, that he, the viewer is wonderful! Each. And since our viewers are the most beautiful people, we want to make the show about them. About them and not about the songs, not the music, not about cinema. But about people. About the country in which we live.

…But time to move on to the preparations — already caused by the whole production team (costume designer Victoria sevryukova, choreographer — Irina Filippova), the layout of the scenery — and very difficult — on the table, and therefore is something to think about, outline drawing performance.

— Edward Stepanovich, — I ask Kochergina, — this was your first experience with muzykalnym theater?

— I was doing musical performances in Opera houses… but with a musical encounter for the first time. This theater Mikhail Shvydkoi was a revelation for me. Revelation. What do you mean? Because here I saw very good work, just wonderful. Can’t say that I am a terrible patriot of this genre. In any case. But the theater I was very convinced. I saw, of course, the great musicals in the West — in America and in England. But this theatre is the first. He’s amazing. And what else impresses here, all young. You view their programs — there is no one “deserved” or one “people”. No rigidity. All are working actively, the audience never spends on different pauses, distracted by the actor’s claim. All clear, enticing, in the case. Here the artists do not work for wages, and the enthusiasm. It is a great rarity today. Times cynical…

photo: Yan Smirnitsky

— And how do you design for other theater productions?

— Three performances I saw were all very good. This is theatre of the highest culture. Not only on my part, for the visual, but also musical, the organizational. All administrators, all assistant — mo-lo-Dyje. And this is very important. Nimble, fast, without superfluous words. That’s what I really like because I own something from the old traditional theatre, and he is no longer young. Here — energy that captivates the audience. You know? So I watched “Revers”, which starts at 11 PM, so what? A room full of young people! All sitting in absolute suspense. No “sneeze-cough”, nothing. Rhythmically the work is very precise. Takes. And the result is a stunning effect.

— The “reverse” is a hit current students, and with minimum advertising, the same “word of mouth”. Young people need an entirely new word, what can not offer other theaters…

— Young people are very sensitive all the catches. This theatre — without the claim. Us in Peter such is not enough. Need to musical Theatre came to us, I’ll help you, really want to bring a couple of performances.

I understand that the artist can’t talk about the picture with the words, — but what is your concept for the future “Life is beautiful”?

— This is my know-how. I liked the idea of Mikhail Yefimovich: we have something like that done in an old theater on Stone island, in the branch of the BDT. The curtain is made like ribbons that rise to different heights, creating a visual composition. This idea is perfectly placed here on a new musical, and we have absolutely not used — we have just a curtain and everything. And then all this “sparkle”, creating a set of spatial possibilities. Is freedom. This is the layout of the air, speaking in professional language. Each song will come with its visual accompaniment. Plus the light color, projection…

Single story layout. It made a stunning master Mikhail Nikolayev. And the words of Marina Shvydkoi — in the best traditions of the old theatre: “It is itself a work of art. Now no one is working. Something, in the best case, blind, and mostly do on the computer. And that’s when our artists will go back to my Peter, I’ll take one in the office and starts playing with it, imagining future scenes”.

— In the layout of the main mechanics to work on the scene, and not just a “picture”, — says Mikhail Nikolayev, the Director can build on it scene, change everything as you want. It adds a creative boost, you can sit back and catch a buzz. The layout easier and more interesting to debridement some moves. Eduard Stepanovich loves models and I build them for half a century. For BDT, and Lyubimov, and abroad. The layout is a special culture of relations within the production team. Alas, this culture goes… now usually in the theatre bring a lot of pictures drawn on the computer, quickly take building scenery…

— Well, now other play of the month live, so why be hindered to some long hassle. Whip handle, Yes a lump in a pile.

— That’s it. The layout creates a sense of theatre in the theatre. Without these niceties the theater just disappears, disappears, which fortunately does not occur at Mikhail Yefimovich, where every show is a new life. Which is lovely.

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