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OTMOROZKI / SCUMBAGS (Zachar Prilepin - Kirill Serebrennikov)

Kirill Serebrennikov

Direction: Kirill Serebrennikov

Filipp Avdějev, Jevgenija Afonskaja, Artur Besčastnyj, Anton Vasiljev, Taťána Vladimirova, Alexandr Gorčilin, Jana Irtěněva, Dmitrij Komov, Nikita Kukuškin, Fjodor Lavrov, Jurij Lobikov, Svetlana Mamreševa, Anatolij Kot, Marija Pojezžajeva, Alexandra Revenko, Harald Rosenstrom, Ilja Romaško, Jekatěrina Steblina, Ivan Fominov, Artem Ševčenko, Roman Šmakov.

Scumbags – The play Scumbags (Otmorozki), jointly written by Kirill Serebrennikov and Zakhar Prilepin on the basis of Prilepin’s work (including the controversial novel Sankya) describes, in a remarkably three-dimensional and uncompromising way, the young people born at the end of the 1980s – the ones now coming out into the streets and calling for freedom, truth and, in the end, for their country, with all the ruthless strength of youth. It is they who are known as “otmorozki” - scum. In 2012 the production won a Golden Mask award – the Oscar of the Russian theatre – for the best small-form production.

In Serebrennikov’s interpretation, Prilepin’s novel keeps its angry, protesting intonation. It is not an epos, but a true document of the time. Not by chance, the script contains real-life dialogues overheard by the actors from young firebrands and in the crowd of aimlessly wandering philistines. Serebrennikov does not romanticise the rebellion, but merely tries to understand where it comes from. He notes the moment when the hero of the novel (and the production) suddenly realises that “there has to be resistance.”
Marina Davydova, Izvestija

The theatre production is deliberately bereft of civic pathos – it is provocatively anti-social, anti-ethical, inciting with its non-standard lexicon and rattling of street barricades that stop nothing and no one – on the contrary, it seems as if all existing barriers are being abolished, both physical and moral. European audiences, used to all sorts of things, watched the premiere of Scum (Otmorozki) in a state of motionless consternation, literally stunned. “That isn’t possible,” someone whispered in English.
New Times

Kirill Serebrennikov (1969) – Graduated from the Physics Faculty at the State University in Rostov on Don (1992) and studied theatre direction at GITIS in Moscow. He achieved theatrical fame with his direction of Sigarev’s Plasticine (at Kazantsev and Roshchin’s Drama and Directing Centre), Mark Ravenhill’s Some Explicit Polaroids (A.S. Pushkin Theatre), the Presnyakov brothers’ Terrorism and In the Role of Victim, Gorky’s The Petty Bourgeois, Saltykov-Shchedrin’s The Golovlyov Family, Ostrovsky’s The Forest, Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman, Kijé based on motifs from Tynyanov’s story, Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera (Moscow Artistic Theatre of A.P. Chekhov), Sweet Bird of Youth by Tennessee Williams, The Naked Young Pioneer from a story by Konovalov, “Anthony and Cleopatra. Version” based on Shakespeare (Sovremennik Theatre), Lermontov’s Demon (814 Theatre Group), Gogol’s Dead Souls (National Theatre of Latvia), Almost Zero based on Natan Dubovitsky’s novel (Oleg Tabakov Theatre) and Scum (Otmorozki) based on Zakhar Prilepin’s novel (MCHAT Academic Studio). Kirill Serebrennikov has also worked on a number of music projects: Arthur Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake (Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by V. Spivakov), Verdi’s Falstaff (Mariin Theatre, conducted by V. Gergiyev), Orff’s Mysterium C. (orchestra conducted by T. Kurentzis) and Andreas Mustukis’ scenic cantata Goddesses from the Machine. He was also behind the international charity project Alexis Syumak’s Requiem, which he directed (Russian National Orchestra, conducted by T. Kurentzis, Moscow Artistic Theatre of A. P. Chekhov). He has directed the films Rostov Papa, Diary of a Killer, Bed Scenes, Playing the Victim, Yuri’s Day, Crush and A Prawn’s Kiss. His awards include the Triumph Award for Young Artists, the Seagull theatre award, the Crystal Turandot, the Stanislavski award and a number of film awards including the main award at the Kinotavr film festival, the Grand Prix at the Rome International Film Festival, the main award at the Warsaw Film Festival and an award at the Locarno Film Festival.

MCHAT – The theatre was founded in Moscow in 1898 by actor, director and teacher K.S. Stanislavski and director V.I.Nemirovich-Danchenko. Until 1920 it was known as the MCHT, Moscow Artistic Theatre, and from 1920 as the MCHAT, Moscow Artistic Academic Theatre). An innovative theatre of great significance, adhering to psychological realism, its artistic programme revolved around the plays of Chekhov and Gorky, Tolstoy and Ostrovsky. The theatre was home to a number of excellent actors (I.M. Moskvin, V. I Kachalov and M.A. Chekhov), whose psychological acting was based on the Stanislavski method.

In 1905-1906 the company embarked on a significant tour around Europe, where it formed contacts with leading figures in European theatre (Reinhardt, Craig) and its art influenced many European theatre professionals (including, in the Czech lands, Jaroslav Kvapil). MCHAT gained a reputation as an exceptional theatre and its activity and influence grew. At the start of the 1920s four studios were gradually created at the theatre, focusing on experimental work. The most significant were Meyerhold’s First Studio and Vakhtangov’s Third Studio.

In 1922-1924 MCHAT set out on another major tour of Europe and the US, and its style had a considerable influence on American theatre.After the Second World War the theatre’s artistic development stagnated.

In 1971 Oleg Yefremov became its new artistic head, and under his leadership the company began to search for a new artistic programme following on from MCHAT’s tradition. Yefremov developed the legacy of the theatre’s founders by initiating and staging new Russian drama, inviting leading Russian and international directors to work there.

Since 2000 the theatre’s artistic head has been Oleg Tabakov, and since 2004 Tabakov has been its director.


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