Interview with the Director

Dmitry Krymov

In an interview with Russian Newspaper RIA Novosti, Krymov talks about the production and what drives and inspires him. Interviewed by Anna Banasyukevich.

Can you describe how the production came about?
It's a long story that began two years ago. The Chekhov Theatre Festival suggested the idea to me, and as far as I understand it, the idea came from the Royal Shakespeare Company and Michael Boyd. Later the Royal Shakespeare Company entered the partnership with Edinburgh International Festival as part of the World Shakespeare Festival.

Are you currently in rehearsals?
Yes, we started rehearsals on stage a few days ago. We still have over a month of rehearsals to go.

Are you working with your own theatre company on the production?
Yes, I'm working with the actors from my lab, but the play is a co-production, which involves Chekhov Festival, Royal Shakespeare Company and my lab - as a member of our Theatre “School of Dramatic Art”.

Where is the premiere?
In late June we will perform a small run of play, with an invited audience of 20-50 people, so that the actors can get the feel of being in front of an audience. The premiere will take then place during the World Shakespeare Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon in the summer. We will go on to perform in Edinburgh, and then will we return to perform in Moscow.

Why A Midsummer Night's Dream?
It was suggested to me, so I said, “A Midsummer Night's Dream? - Great!” I decided not to choose. I read the play a long time ago and I liked it, so I was happy with the decision.

Is it challenging to stage such a large-scale production in Stratford-upon-Avon?
On the contrary, it urges me on and inspires me. The names that have performed there! Peter Brook, for example. The burden of responsibility staging the production there does not scare me – I'm going to have fun with it.

Speaking of the style of this play, will it be similar to your previous work?
Well, I thought that I always change my style with every production, but apparently, I always remain the same!

Well, there are some recognizable features typical of your productions…
For instance?

For instance, a specific approach to the original text, non-linear story-telling in which visual images play more important role than words?
I very much hope that here we will stay on familiar tracks. This is even more important because we are not using Shakespeare's original text, we will tell the story with our own words.

This is not a translation of the play. It is more about the themes of Shakespeare's plays. The play is called A Midsummer Night's Dream (As You Like It). So we're playing with the names of Shakespeare's plays. It's like, for example, putting on and billing a play as Hamlet, but making the story more like Othello. I want people to leave the theatre wondering which of Shakespeare's plays they have actually seen. I like to blur the boundaries of his work.

You had an experience of staging Hamlet, didn't you?
Yes, and it was a normal theatre production. Relatively normal! By the way, Valery Garkalin performed in it, and he is also performing in A Midsummer Night's Dream(As You Like it).

Who else is part of your creative team and cast?
The designer is one of my former students, Vera Martynova. The acting team is a mix of actors from our laboratory and a group of specially invited acrobats, animal trainers and clowns. A new member of the cast is the singer Alex Kokhanov. He graduated from GITIS, went abroad and continued his education there. He has an amazing voice. The other star in the cast apart from Valery Garkalin is Liya Akhedzhakova. Some members of the tech crew will also appear on stage and perform their parts! Generally, in this play everyone will perform several roles.

Have you performed abroad before?
Yes, a few times, but we've never been to Edinburgh. I'm looking forward to it.

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