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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

In Search of Russian Theater

A duo of British theater makers came to town last week in search of material for a new project. David Farr, associate director at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and Ferdy Roberts, one of the founders of Filter Theatre, Ltd., had previously collaborated on a work called “Water,” which was a huge success in London in 2007. Now they have their sights set on Russian theater.  

What that means is that they are in the process of devising a new production that will touch on the elements of Russian art and culture that have influenced them over the years. Roberts was educated at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama by a Russian emigrant, Vasily Skorik, and that teacher’s intensity, insight and high standards left an indelible mark on the future actor’s creative sensibility.  

In Moscow the visitors’ schedule included meetings with the directors Kama Ginkas and Dmitry Krymov, and the writer and director Mikhail Ugarov. They took in performances of Krymov’s “The Demon: A View from Above” at the School of Dramatic Art, and of Vyacheslav Durnenkov’s “Exhibits” at Teatr.doc. In St. Petersburg they attended Lev Dodin’s production of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” at the Maly Drama Theater and they met with Dodin and the writers Yury Klavdiyev and Vadim Levanov.  

I also crossed paths with David and Ferdy early last week. And after we talked politics, history, culture and theater for several hours at the Parisian Life café in the Hermitage Garden, I asked Ferdy to share some of his thoughts about the show that he, David and other partners plan to open in 2011 as a joint production of the RSC and Filter. Click on the image below to hear what he had to say.