By Robert Leach Nfa
Revolutionary Theatre is the 1st full-length learn of the dynamic theatre created in Russia within the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution. Fired via social and political in addition to inventive zeal, a gaggle of administrators, playwrights, actors and organisers accumulated round the charismatic Vsevolod Meyerhold. Their goal used to be to accomplish within the theatre what Lenin and his comrades had accomplished in politics: the total overthrow of the established order and the deploy of a considerably new regime.
in the past the efforts and impact of this idealistic staff of theatrical avant-gardists were mostly unacknowledged; the oppressive reign of Stalin condemned a lot of them to demise and their paintings to oblivion. during this enlightening paintings Robert Leach uncovers in interesting element their roots, their achievements and their legacy.
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Extra resources for Revolutionary theatre
In December, all except about half a dozen were closed down in Petrograd, pending further discussion. On 19 February 1920, the Moscow Soviet closed fourteen cabaret theatres, ‘in view of their intolerable character’, and confiscated their property,21 and the following day, 20 February, the Petrograd Soviet of Art Workers passed a motion calling for the closure of all such institutions in their city. On 17 March Maria Andreeva signed the order for their closure. In a sense, the treatment of the cabaret theatres was a rehearsal for the more arduous business of bringing Proletkult to heel.
The application of Bogdanov’s ideas to the theatre was attempted most assiduously by Platon Mikhailovich Kerzhentsev, another Bolshevik who returned from emigration in 1917 and ran the ROSTA agency as soon as it was set up. His greatest contribution to the cultural debate was his book, The Creative Theatre, which ran into several editions after it was first published in 1918. In it, he accepted Tolstoy’s notion that great art ‘infects’ its audience, and Wagner’s idea of a mystic union between artist and spectator.
26 Nevertheless, the acrid tone within which its whimsy was cloaked, its layers of identity confounded in layers of meaning, its use of irony coupled with virtuoso theatricality, the way in which it addressed the problems of illusion and disillusion, made it an endlessly fruitful text and Meyerhold staged it at least three times. Boris Pronin, formerly a director at Komissarzhevskaya’s theatre, tried to establish a theatre devoted to commedia dell’arte, though the venture quickly transformed into the Stray Dog cabaret.