A huge sticker from VKontakte is projected onto the wall. 25-year-old Egor explains to 36-year-old Dima, in which cases such a message is sent, and tries to portray a cherry on a twig or a blueberry in an ice cube. The play with a very long title - “One hundred percent love is the fire of passion of full desires for you from me” - this is a play about the friendship of two girls played by two actors from Lenkom. And this, perhaps, is the first Russian performance where the Internet, 20-year-olds and generally modernity still look like themselves, and not a technophobic parody or an attempt to bribe a young audience.
"One hundred percent love is the fire of passion of the full-fledged desires of relations with you from me"
“I listen to my body. When it wants chips, I give it chips,” “I want to die and be born again - very rich,” “I’m so sad that I’m not happy with the food from the coffee shop, where everyone is 50 rubles,” they say two heroines of the play by Arina Boyko. Almost any line from this text is so capacious that it would comprehensively describe the mood on Twitter. The creators already arranged fortune telling on 100 selected quotes, and it’s not possible to learn the name of the performance the first time — but this is not an author’s work, but a phrase from an old viral video with hot romantic recognition.
“One hundred percent love ...” - fragments from the real correspondence of Arina and Zhenya (“this is her fake name,” the list of actors says). They study at the Higher School of Economics on philosophy and communicate with each other almost round the clock: either from educational buildings, now from an apartment, then from cafes and trains of the MCC. Each piece in the play is entitled by a real Moscow address.
"I am a fan of re-reading messages, generally speaking and writing. Chats are an alternative to diaries, written not only for myself, but for another person. After all, diaries are also converted into works of art, and so I found value in these messages. Internal jokes, which you cannot explain to anyone, but really want to share them, so that they become a universal meme, "Arina tells me. Now she finishes Literary Proficiency in the same HSE, and before that she studied for a semester in the USA and worked for two years in the press service of the Meyerhold Center.
“This is auto-fiction, autobiographical literature, a big trend of the 2010s in the West. Talking about your experience, maybe even narrow, mastering and appropriating your own identity,” adds Boyko. And in modern Russian-language plays, there are almost no such heroes and heroines, as in 100% Love ... The fact is that in the 90s, when a new drama was taking shape, it seemed more important to give votes to those who were expelled from public space: prisoners, migrants, and schoolchildren. And if the authors wrote about themselves and about their lives, they often described the regions, their difficult, poor way of life: then there were almost no professional playwrights, and very different people flocked to independent festivals. Now that the ways to quickly enter the theater community have already been formed, there are university programs, private drama schools, the situation is naturally changing - and Moscow intellectuals, HSE students and, say, readers around Life finally appear in the plays.
"Therefore, I will meet with the autistic again, who is poher for manifestations of love," "- I’m actually rushing to listen about the problems of blacks. - But I don’t," "He’s a speed guy. They have immunity for ***** vagina." - Here are a few more quotes from "100% Love ...". In the play, the former is accompanied by the quiet commentary “Eyxim”, in the second they recognize racism, in the third - stigmatization. The performance was staged by Natalya Zaitseva, this is her directorial debut, but in the background - the feminist background: the play about domestic violence "Abyuz", which she came up with the director Ivan Komarov in TsIM.
"I was surprised when someone from the Lyubimovka festival (festival of young Russian-language drama. - Approx. ed.) said it was a feminist play. And then she thought: yes, quite. This is a play about the friendship of two girls - their relationship in it is more important than all other relationships. And the mode of production itself: Arina proclaims herself a playwright, I am a director, we are both debutants, we are doing something not very similar to a play and a performance, but with joyful confidence that this is good. There is such empowerment in this, "says Zaitseva.
The performance is not at all provocative, but one can see in it a slight disregard for theatrical standards. Actors, for example, do not teach the play, but read it from leaflets ("Two men in police uniform read from 25 to 60 years old. They read aloud because they are so bored" - you can find such a remark in the text). Instead of stage equipment, there is a small home projector, which belongs to the performance artist Mila Silenina, a Bluetooth speaker with which they listen to sad Russian music in the middle, and a laptop, whose third performer, Tanya Bogdanova, periodically cuts soap and draws a slime. ASMR-performance - a genre can be defined this way, or you can fit it into the medium of contemporary art and call it a post-Internet theater - one in which the appearance of phones on the stage does not become an amazing event worthy of admiration, but simply naturally grows out of our existence here and now , in 2019.
Integrity, honesty here generally attract the most. The only thing that bothers me is the lack of explicit statute in this conversation about ourselves, some kind of its non-obligation, apoliticality. "For me, the play of this play is an attempt by the text to remain faithful to that life that interests no one but constitutes your being. Discussions about justice and time would be a fall into the untruth of common truths. And then there’s nothing but concrete, unimportant things and love - more precisely, such close friendship, which is even more important today and which in this communication of two girls shines well in every line, "Zaitseva does not agree. And he adds: “I can’t say that I’m tired of statements - I myself am a very ideological person. But it seems to me right to try to feel here and now.” Well, on the other hand, why not. Russia in the chat window is also Russia without Putin.