At the Beginning and the End of Time stands out among the works of Roman Viktyuk, it is based on the play of Pavlo Arye, young Ukrainian playwright, and pays tribute to the director’s homeland. The play is about a family living in isolation in the restricted area – “exclusion zone” – after the Chernobyl accident; they refused to leave their home. Unlike his usual aesthetic, Roman Viktyuk staged as a parable about the desperate desire to live and love.
According to the curator of the Russian case program of the Golden Mask Theatre Award Pavel Rudnev, on director Roman Viktyuk tell the story of a ‘hidden, secret resource of humanity, that lives in humans and that reveals in extreme situations”. It’s a hymn to “paradoxical, incomprehensible, irrational will to survive”, love and humanism.
Roman Viktyuk calls the show “a window of a mental asylum with a view of absurd reality”. According to the director we need to know the world around us, trust the nature, and then, at the beginning and the end of time ugly … and still beautiful world will open to us.
Cast and Characters
hon. artist of the Russian Federation
hon. artist of the Russian Federation
Roman Viktyuk has staged a play by a Ukrainian playwright who is a resident of Germany. The play tells about people living in an exclusion zone in Polesye near the Pripyat river years after the Chernobyl disaster. They rather prefer to have no social contacts whatsoever than deal with civilization in any way. In fact, the play deals with life in the post-Soviet area, presenting the drama of people living in territories that are fragments of the former empire. Once again the post-Soviet territory becomes a place of potential explosion, hallucinations and loss of connections between people. The former Soviet civilization has become history, the concept of human life has lost its value, time has stopped and connections between people have been destroyed completely. Those who continue living in the Chernobyl area turn out to be animals trapped by the mighty ones. They have already given away everything, but the world is still hankering for more human sacrifices. The urban civilization continues to live following the hecatomb. It is absolutely impossible to escape the civilization that devours people even if you take the path of self-destruction.
One of the most intriguing figures of Russian theatre Roman Victyuk, who we always expect a fervent carnival of, with feathers, half-naked bodies and talks of sex, has decided to celebrate his birthday with a production about Ukraine. At the heart of the show is a play by a German emigrant Pavlo Arie (a completely new name in playwriting) about the Chernobyl catastrophe. The author’s subtitle printed on the playbill states: “Devoted to hundreds of people challenging the terrible catastrophe, the state system, to patriots of their native land who have come back home, the last inheritors of Ukraniain woodlands”.
This play is terrible and beautiful, simple and accurate; it’s full of faith, hope and love. It’s beautiful, not because they show beautiful things on stage: there are no smooth movements, graceful fading, and beautiful bodies as a metaphor of beauty and love of the world. There is stinking, radiating mysterious mist, – the roadside picnic – invented by the creators, impossible on earth – real life. One must get the food, one must protect the loved ones, one must love and live.
«В начале и в конце времен» — это горячо обсуждаемый звягинцевский «Левиафан», умноженный на сто, а то и тысячу. Это безупречная режиссура, актерская игра на грани, неожиданный сценарий с высокой степенью символичности каждого слова и жеста, и, главное, — спектакль актуален вне времени, даже спустя почти 30 лет после Чернобыльской трагедии».