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Programme 2

“Programme 2” of The Centre for the Less Good Idea’s online offering introduces audiences to the hybrid analogue and digital technologies of the Pepper’s Ghost, playing with illusion through live performance and projected recordings. A mystery creature from the mind of Franz Kafka, an avant-garde verse drama by a Soviet playwright, and experimental takes on the Shakespearean soliloquy all occupy the world of the Pepper’s Ghost. Designed by co-curators Phala Ookeditse Phala and William Kentridge, this is physical theatre, performance poetry, short-form fiction, musical improvisation, and pre-recorded installation coming together in an exploration of theatrical performance as a mode of critical enquiry and a form of artistic experimentation.

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Arde brillante en los bosques de la noche (Burning bright in the forest of the night)

The 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution offers a brilliant window into an exploration of identity formation in leading Argentine dramatist-director Mariano Pensotti’s “Arde brillante en los bosques de la noche / Burning bright in the forest of the night”. Divided into three parts, this bold, innovative work examines how progressive ideas circulated between Latin-America and Europe and how they shaped different generations in both continents. Part 1 has puppets (replicas of the actors who manipulate them) enacting the tale of a University lecturer, Estela, who finds the disparity between the ideas that shape her teaching and the realities of her domestic situation difficult to deal with. Part 2 enacts a play that Estela and her family and friends go to see about a European revolutionary struggling to adapt to life back home in Germany following time spent in Colombia. ONE WEEK ONLY! MAY 21 – MAY 30.

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Lenin

In 1917 Russia is shaken by the October Revolution. Just a few years later, socialism has been implemented. Lenin, the ringleader of the revolution, is in a dacha near Moscow battling physical and mental decay. Surrounded by a depleted inner circle, cut off from the Central Committee, he fights to retain his political influence. His companion Trotsky, cultural politician Lunacharsky and others who visit Lenin’s dacha conjure up recollections of the brief moment in history when everything seemed possible. But scheming to become his successor, his opponent Stalin is already waiting in the wings. Milo Rau and the Schaubühne Ensemble provide a unique examination of a society caught between awakening and apathy, revolutionary longing and reactionary opposition – a labyrinth of hope and fear, of political ideals and the collective experience of violence. ONE DAY ONLY! This production plays on 25 April 2020. Available from 6.30pm CET until midnight.

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Octavia. Trepanation

Featuring a libretto based on a 1924 essay by Leon Trotsky about Lenin and fragments of a play, Octavia, attributed to Seneca about the Roman emperor Nero, this is a thrilling new opera staged with verve and ambition by one of Russia’s most acclaimed directors. An opera about the possible and the probable, about the recent and not so recent past, about tyranny and its discontents that allow Lenin, Trotsky, and Nero to enter into a poetic, interdisciplinary dialogue on what power means and how it is executed. ONE DAY ONLY! From 3 May 2020 at 6.30pm CET for 24 hours.

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Psychosis

Directed by Alexander Zeldovic with art group AES+F, Psychosis offers a unique take on Sarah Kane’s iconic play 4.48 Psychosis. Written as a monologue that captures the borderline psychological state of a patient suffering from clinical depression in a psychiatric clinic, the production reenvisages Kane’s single voice as a chorus of internal voices invoked by the nineteen actresses of the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre. This is a highly original reading of a contemporary classic realized with imagination, verve and a dynamic understanding of the moods and intonations of Kane’s distinctive language. ONE DAY ONLY! From 8 May 2020 at 6.30pm CET for 24 hours.

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The Blue Bird (Bliss)

The third and final part of Boris Yukhananov’s The Blue Bird trilogy sees Tyltyl and Mytyl conclude their search for the Blue Bird of happiness. This production was captured by the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in Moscow and presented in partnership with Stage Russia HD, and features the reminiscences of Russian actors Vladimir Korenev and Aleftina Konstantinova.

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The Blue Bird (Night)

Part two of Boris Yukhananov’s dazzling trilogy sees actors Vladimir Korenev and Aleftina Konstantinova weaving in and out of character as Tyltyl and Mytyl on the search for the Blue Bird of happiness. This production was captured by the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in Moscow and presented in partnership with Stage Russia HD.

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The Blue Bird (Journey)

Two children embark on a whirlwind adventure to find the Blue Bird of happiness in part one of Boris Yukhananov’s epic trilogy, based on Maurice Maeterlinck’s mystical play. This production was captured by the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in Moscow and presented in partnership with Stage Russia HD, and features the reminiscences of Russian actors Vladimir Korenev and Aleftina Konstantinova.

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Insulted. Belarus.

“Insulted. Belarus” draws from the controversy surrounding Alexander Lukashenko’s highly contested presidential victory in August 2020 against opponent Sviatlana Tikhanovskaya. Statements by Lukashenko and Tikhanovskaya are here interwoven with the interjections of fictional characters, portraying how citizens from all walks of life imagine the future of Belarusian society.

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Day of the Oprichnik

Day of the Oprichnik is a staging of an anti-utopia, sci-fi novel by Russian writer Vladimir Sorokin. The oprichnina was secret state police founded by Tsar Ivan the Terrible in Russia between 1565 and 1572. Oprichniks were engaged in mass repression, terror, public executions, killings, rape, confiscation of land and property and were above the law. (in Czech)

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