Golden Mask Award 2020


“Special Prem

and the Jury of the Drama Theater and Puppet Theater “Nominations for the Golden Mask Award 2020.

“The best performance in drama, small form”

“Best Director’s Work”

“Best Actress” (Yana Savitskaya)

“Best Supporting Actress” (Julia Zakhark

Автор фото Ofa Feldman
Boris Pavlovic, director
photo by Ofa Feldman

“We officially defined the genre of the play “INVESTIGATION OF HORROR” as “photographing conversations,” and at rehearsals recalled a “cosplay.” Cosplay is a role-playing game in which a person puts on a certain image and exists in it in everyday life. So we started the game in the ranks of the 1930s: Harms, Vvedensky, Zabolotsky, Oleinikov, Druskin, Mikhailov and Lipavsky. Actors compose their heroes without hiding the gap with historical truth. The faces of the prototypes, like the conversations documented by Leonid Lipavsky in the book of the same name, become a way to be someone else in a real environment among real people. That is why “INVESTIGATION OF HORROR” is impossible to play in a traditional space. At first, the interiors of the apartment on Moika, then the basement of the St. Petersburg Theater Magazine on Mokhovaya, and now – the editors of the magazine “New World” on Strastny Boulevard become a place for a party of geniuses, at which something went wrong.”

Boris Pavlovich, DIRECTOR

“Here the actors either entertain us, then immerse themselves, then sing, then strum the piano, then eat with the audience at the kitchen table, then eat again, but outsiders are no longer allowed to come to the table. And whatever they do, it’s fun to watch them. Who is behind them – and there is the most important question. Because the heroes here are not people, but their ideas, their thoughts, the time in which they lived, the food they ate, their feelings, their quarrels – it all seems to take on flesh. And it seems that you reach out your hand and you can feel it all. Pavlovich staged a play not about Kharms, Vvedensky, Oleinikov, Zabolotsky, Druskin and Lipavsky (although, of course, about them too). He staged a play about eidos, about the “concrete manifestation of the abstract.” About how the uttered thought continues to change and shape reality even after its bearer has left the vale of the earth. It is not people who think here, rather thoughts are suddenly humanized. What, I mean, thoughts? Thoughts on everything. On God, on milk, on carriage drivers, on the immortality of the soul. Ideas become subjects of theatrical performance. And that is why each of the participants in this non-Platonic feast can be played by an artist of any age and of any gender: ideas, thoughts (and feelings, by the way, too) have neither gender nor age.

TEATR magazine, blog


Domestic conversations of OBERIUs are of a dual nature: on the one hand, it is a meeting of like-minded people, a “box” in which they can allow themselves to be who they are and not restrain themselves in expressions, on the other hand, it is an attempt at a performative existence. Lipavsky captures not only “home-grown philosophy”, but also the mechanics of accelerating the stream of consciousness, when not individual maxims are important, but the temperature, energy, emotion of speech. In “Conversations” we see the “greats” we know well – Kharms, Vvedensky, Zabolotsky, Druskin, Oleinikov – in a strange situation of endless conversation that almost does not touch upon the issues of personal creativity. Only a couple of times in two years they directly discuss Vvedensky’s poems or Lipavsky’s philosophical sketches. Everyone’s creativity takes place in solitude, as well as everyday life – the vicissitudes of personal, official, social troubles remain behind the scenes.

It seems that the heroes talk about anything but the main thing. Rather, the “main thing” manifests itself in every topic they raise, be it gravity, cooking, history or optics. At the beginning of “Conversations” participants burst out with detailed lists of what interests them. These are inspirational monologues of artists full of life and passion. They are still interested in everything. Gradually, internal contradictions in the group are growing, deep psychological and ideological differences between the interlocutors reveal themselves.

The play was created by the Alma Mater Foundation with the support of the Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation.

Duration – 3:30 hours (no intermission)

2 Kharmses
photo by Vladimir Averin


Director Boris Pavlovich

Curator Nina Miahailyuk

Playwright Elina Petrova

Artist Katerina Andreeva

Plastic director Alina Mikhailova

Choirmaster Anna Vishnyakova

Lighting Designer Stas Svistunovich

Line producer Ekaterina Sukhrukova

Producer Nika Parkhomovskaya

Leonid Lipavsky – Yana Savitskaya, Ksenia Zakharova

Nikolay Zabolotsky – Dmitry Krestyankin

Yakov Druskin – Yulia Zakharkina

Tamara Lipavskaya – Katerina Taran, Alexandra Nikitina

Nikolay Oleinikov – Natasha Rozanova

Daniil Kharms – Ivan Kandinov, Anastasia Beshliu

Alexander Vvedensky – Petr Chizhov, Ekaterina Alekseenko

Dmitry Mikhailov – Tatiana Filatova

* Photos by Vladimir Averin are used on this page.