The Gift

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An aesthetic offering of art to reality, running time: 3 h 45 m, prime September 11, 2012
Last performed November 4, 2020
“The Gift” is a metanovel by Vladimir Nabokov, the great man of both the Russian and American literature. It was written in Russian, during the Berlin period of the writer’s life, and completed in 1937. The protagonist has Nabokov’s own traits. “The Gift” is all about balancing between life and words, life and art, reality of everyday life and reality of something else. It’s a rigorous interpretation of the writer’s role and place, and of the creative process as a whole. This performance is yet another confession of the Fomenko Theater’s love for literature, giving life to the words and giving life with the words.
Stage director Evgeny Kamenkovich is never the one to seek easy paths. Together with the Fomenko Theater’s younger generation of actors, he has risked staging another seemingly unstageable work of literature, Vladimir Nabokov’s “The Gift”. This work of literature has no meaningful stage history. It is exquisitely ironic, full of intellectual games and impeccable taste — not an easy work for people used to contemporary “easy reading.” This is a novel whose main protagonist is not a specific character, but the text itself, the unique Nabokovian language.
Irina Alpatova, Teatral

Characters and Cast

Plus: Germans: The Salesman, The Guard, The Hospital Servant, Policeman, Five Evangelic Sisters, The Taxi Driver, Bohemians, Athletes, Passengers in a tram; Russians; Poets: Foma Mur, Anna Aptekar, Engineer Kern; Critics: Linyev, Anuchin, “The Monarchist,” The “Bolshevik,” Christofor Mortus; Board of Directors: Professor Kraevich, Gurman, The Treasurer; Aborigines — theatre artists.


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