MOSCOW, Feb 18 — RIA Novosti (RIA News). One of the first independent theaters in the USSR – Ilkhom in Tashkent is under threat of eviction at the initiative of the new owner of the premises, according to the theater’s website.
The new owner of OFELOS PLAZA LLC sent a letter to the Ilkhom administration asking them to free the building, the basement of which the theater has been using since 1976.
Upon the receipt of letter, the theater hosted a press conference where representatives of the new owner announced that the building would be closed for reconstruction for two years.

“At the moment, everything is in the stage of stagnation < ....> except for the letter, we have not seen any other documents confirming the ownership,” Irina Bharat, the theater’s deputy director told RIA News.
Performance “White White Black Stork”
© Photo: provided by the press service of the Ilkhom Theater
Performance “White White Black Stork”
“It is about a new business center with six to seven floors to be built here. There are two half-ruined floors above us, that is, it is most likely not a reconstruction … The premises where we are located will be completely demolished and a fresh ground will be broken,” says Bharat confidently.
The developer’s promise to create new conditions for Ilkhom, she called the “fairy tale fiction.”
The possibility of moving to another building also seems dubious to the theater management: As Bharat continues explaining: “We don’t know which particular options they want to offer us, but we understand that there are no such venues in the city. We are a chamber theater, not an academic one, and we need our unique space that we have been creating for years.”

The theater’s friends stood up to protect it. So, representatives of Tashkent advertising companies launched the “Save Ilkhom” website in Russian and English. One of the first to send a letter of support addressed to the Minister of Culture of Uzbekistan, was Alexander Kalyagin the Chairman of the Center for Drama and Directing (CDD) of the Russian Federation, and in a personal conversation with Boris Gafurov, the artistic director of the theater, he promised to provide comprehensive support to the theater, the deputy director told RIA News. The collection of signatures in support was initiated by the Club of Folk Artists of Uzbekistan.
“This is the first independent theater in the territory of the Soviet Union. In 1976 there were no such analogues, we never had financial relations with the state, somehow we always managed to earn on our own,” she added.
On February 15 and 16, premieres of “Tomorrow” by Nikita Makarenko on uncertainties about the day of tomorrow were held. All tickets for the performances of February have been sold, sales for March have begun.
The theater is popular among viewers. “White White Black Stork” about the relationship of parents and children is on with unchanged sold-outs. “Happy Beggars” by Carlo Gozzi is on the repertoire for more than 20 years, directed by Mark Wail, the founder of Ilkhom. “This is an absolute blockbuster that people have come to all these years … we joke among ourselves that we can show this performance on Monday morning at 8 am, and the hall will be full,” Bharat shared.
In September, the theater came on tour in Moscow and on the stage of the Center for Drama and Directing showed the play “Tsvetaeva. Fedra” directed by Vladimir Pankov, the artistic director of the CDD and “Dog Heart” directed by Artyom Kim, the director and composer.