Young directors are always searching for a new language, new means of expression and new ideas. Moreover, the geography of the search is constantly expanding. For example, adaptations of little-known Japanese and Indian plays have started to appear on Moscow stages. The most recent is Yelena Nevezhina's staging of Betsuyaku Minoru's parable-play "A Hundred Yen for a Favor " in the Oleg Tabakov Theater-Studio.
The curtain rises to reveal a gigantic sakura, or cherry tree, the work of artist Alexander Borovsky, under which fate contrives to bring two complete strangers together. The Woman (Yevdokia Germanova), is depressed by her gloomy circumstances and is contemplating doing away with herself, and The Man (Mikhail Khomyakov), on the contrary, is feeling cheerful and high-spirited, having just started a new business on which he pins great hopes. The two people have nothing in common. She is eccentric, loud-voiced and active, while he is calm, even phlegmatic, self-assured and seemingly indifferent.
The emotional contact between them evolves out of their initial indifference. It then grows into understanding, developing further as they search for a way out of life's whirlpool. As they draw closer to each other, The Man reveals his gentle soul and a touching lack of confidence hidden behind a mask of complacency, while the Woman, despite her sorrow and weariness, reveals her wisdom and strength. He finds tender and encouraging words for her and she reciprocates with sensible advice. It often happens that desperate people find each other in this overcrowded world. The meeting might take place only once in their lives and last for only a few moments but, at the same time, it turns out to be enormously important for them. Before taking a decisively important step, a person should pause for a moment because it could mean the start of something entirely new.
The director and the actors demonstrate a remarkable understanding of this particular style of Japanese theater. This is evident in both the manner of acting and the brilliant lighting and color effects done in the Japanese style. Furthermore, a sense of taste is one of the most important qualities for a modern theater director. Yelena Nevezhina has again confirmed her reputation as an intellectual director, and the Oleg Tabakov Theater-Studio has added one more interesting play to its repertoire.
The next performance is on Jan. 16
OLEG TABAKOV THEATER-STUDIO
1a Chaplygina Ul.
Metro: Chistye Prudy