Conversations of the professor, writer and Stalker about life, love, hope and cinematography can now be seen and heard by St. Petersburg residents at Petrikirkh.
Darya Morozova, reporter: “Water is Tarkovsky’s favorite image, seen in many of his films, including “Stalker”. It covers the tools left behind and floors of abandoned buildings. It symbolizes the flow of time and eternal problems which the characters are faced with. Water as a key stage element is used by the actors of the play. It helps to encapsulate the trademark slow-paced rhythm of Tarkosky’s film. And the play itself takes place at a rather unusual place – in the pool of the Peter and Pavel Lutheran church’s catacombs.
Actors of the “Stalker” are sure – there’s no better place in St. Petersburg for this play. The idea behind its is inspired within these walls.
Alexander Mashanov, actor: “The initial image was this room and water. And characters walking in this water. The visual component inspired everything else. We realized that this room would serve as the wish-maker. It’s a metaphysical space”
The play was written by St. Petersburg author Alexey Slusarchyuk and Ukrainian screenwriter Maxim Kurochkin. The characters were inspired by the original – Andrey Tarkovsky’s movie ‘Stalker”. But characteristics and ideas of the characters were designed specifically for these actors. They took active part in writing the play. For instance, Boris Pavlovich, who played the professor, takes part in numerous social projects. His thoughts “Happiness should be free for everyone, and no one should feel aggrieved” served as a basis for the characters’ monologues.
Boris Pavlovich, actor: “There’s a certain crisis in you, seemingly, trying to keep the whole universe warmer, but this universe does not become better. And that’s how the story of a professor, disenchanted in utopia, who does not believe in neither Tarkovsky nor Norschtein or any other culture of idealism. So this character is following in the steps of the movie’s characters, while, in essence, reflecting my own self”
Actors stress that the play is not a sequel to the film, but, rather, a dialogue with it. Three characters: Stalker, writer and professor are at the door to the wish-maker. They converse about life, god, hope and modernity. And even argue about Tarkovsky and Strugatsky brothers’ works.
— They have two books – “Hard to be a god” and “Inhabited Island”…
— No, they have more!
— Yes! But those two stand out, because they are good and concise. They write about things that will happen to us
— Or has already happened.
The play premiered 18 months ago. But since then, no one has seen two similar executions of it – most of it is about the actors’ improvisation.
Evgeniy Anisimov, actor: “We don’t have a director. Its one of the methods of the post-totalitarian theatre. We are not keen on forcing certain thoughts into our audience’s heads. Its important for me that they leave with thoughts. Those could be in favor of the play, could be against it or everything we said – but at least those are thoughts”
The “Stalker” is shown two-three times a month at the catacombs of the Lutheran church. Confined space can only fit up to a hundred people, that’s why tickets are sold almost immediately. There are no spares for November – but professor, writer and the Stalker will return here next month.