Mortal Trick

O. Antonov / farce in 2 acts / Large hall

    Rating: 18+
    Duration — 2:30
    The premiere took place on 22 March, 2008


    Character's and person's:

    Director of the performance Timofey Kuljabin:

    — Fairly, «Mortal trick» — is one of my favourite plays. On the one hand, it is very theatrical: clownery is cheerful, funny, and comical. And on another hand, there is a philosophy, talking in it. It tells about the person playing: about the one who appears on stage.

    Who is clown? Roughly speaking, it is the one who «is able to play the fool» and does it infectiously, convincingly, comically. In clownery there is an extreme, maximum degree of actor's existence. Supergrotesque, fantastic, an improbable border between absolute conventionality and absolute sincerity because a clown trusts madly in what he does. Clownery, probably, — is one of the most complex genres in the world. To be engaged in it, it is necessary to possess an especial human nature.

    We have five clowns — all absolutely different, each has his own character, own genre, own «self» egoism.

    The white clown is Pierrot, the lyrical clown. Red — a carpet clown, the one who entertains all. Black is such clown-Mephistopheles, some kind of a «black» Harlequin who, we shall admit, all time beats Pierrot a hammer on a head. Thick is rather stupid, naive clown who, for example, all time falls. Such company turns out approximately: malicious, stupid, cheerful and sad.

    One supposes that the very word «clown» comes from Latina «colonus» — peasant, rood fellow. Sources of clownery go back to the art of court clowns, European carnival and Italian comedy del arte.

    For the first time the figure of a clown has appeared on stages of London comedy-farcical theatre in XVI century. It was a rude and awkward rural guy served by object of sneers of city dwellers. The role of the Clown was full of improvisation, rude jokes, jeers above aristocrats and richmen. Very soon the Clown has got for borders of a comedy. For example, at Shakespeare this character often appears in tragedies. By XVII century the Clown has practically disappeared from dramatic art, being kept mainly in epilogues. This name became nominal, and was fixed to executors of buffoonery roles in pantomimes and booths.

    The courageous conditionality of clownery demands especial — clown’s — thinking: associative communications, alogical acts, paradoxes. Clowns are synthetic actors; they own also equlibre, acrobatics, riding, training.

    It is one of the most democratic and at the same time most complex and universal specializations of an actor. The history does not know examples of development of a clownery genre by tragical actors, however counter-examples are not rare. Many outstanding clowns achieved significant successes in cinema and theatrical roles of tragical repertoire — Jury Nikulin, Leonid Engibarov, Vyacheslav Polunin.