For four days in early September, almost the whole theatrical Moscow managed to “check in” in the CDD – the Ilkhom Theater came on tour from Tashkent. Moscow expects and loves the unique theater created by Mark Wail. Reading the story of the foundation of Ilkhom, it’s hard to believe how in 1976 it could even appear – an independent non-state theater whose repertoire included Brecht, Vampilov, Petrushevskaya!

How could all this happen and succeed then?
Already in the distant 80s, thanks to Mark Wail and his associates, the “Tashkent field of experiments” appeared – with a form, images, plastic solutions. The Uzbek version of the comedy del arte is adjacent to epics and a modern new drama – the names of Ugarov, Durnenkov, Klavdiev are on the poster. Since 2007, the theater has been led by Boris Gafurov, and until now, Ilkhom is the territory of everything new and important. If we start listing all the projects, there’s a risk of not having time to tell about what we saw. Viktor Verzhbitsky, Anton Pakhomov, Dzhanik Fayziev, Timur Bekmambetov and many others came out of Ilkhom at different times. And looking at the poster and studying the list of projects and laboratories, one will want to immediately fly to Uzbekistan. Fortunately, during the tour we brought to CDD two performances – “Tsvetaeva. Fedra” and “Dog’s Heart”.
“Tsvetaeva. Fedra ”- is the case when they talk about the rope in the house where a man has hanged himself. In the play, both the rope and Tsvetaeva appear immediately, being reflected in the mirrors, multiplying in images. The ancient tragedy of the fatal passion of the stepmother to his stepson acquires new shades of pain to Tsvetaeva, and the inevitability of the end is a different sound. Difficult for perception, the poetic fabric of Fedra seemed to be waiting for this performance. Or operas? Music and vocals here are also “ragged”, sharp, complex, but as a result there is a harmony of the outer-space or antique order.
One Fedra on the stage turns into another, the words of Hippolytus suddenly come from his father, and the one who has just said about her love under the Greek olive tree reads the last letters from Tarusa. The text is pronounced in Russian and French, the musicians of the Omnibus band weave the sounds into the canvas that seemed to arise there in ancient Greek Chaos.
«The Dog’s Heart»
The most peoples’ favorite novel “Dog’s Heart” by Bulgakov surprises with new focus: Professor Preobrazhensky and Dr. Bormental are completely unpleasant. But Schwonder has many faces and Sharikov, not in his doglike incarnation, but in the human one at some point cause sympathy.
But this is logical. Artem Kim added excerpts from Orwell and modern manifesto texts to the original. Who are we: puppets or puppeteers? Where does the reality of freedom turn into illusion? A very strong application, which may not always be realized on stage, does not always “catch” or hit. But, however, this is subjective, and the audience left the hall with completely opposite evaluations and impressions.
“Tsvetaeva. Fedra”
The Ilkhom has fantastically talented and multifaceted actors and musicians who show the highest class of the play, immersion in medium and love for their craft. It can be assumed that the CDD scene was too small. But this did not affect the performances and the play of the actors: as if they had played only here all their lives. Of course, Vladimir Pankov, the artistic director of the CDD, did produce “Fedra” in Ilkhom, the performances based on the plays of Alexei Kazantsev, the father of the CDD, also were played on Ilkhom’s stages. But the matter is probably about some inexplicably native, general atmosphere, common vectors of development and movement and about high level of everything that is produced within these walls.