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Viktyuk: My theatre is on the point of getting a building, I am begged to keep silent about Ukraine. But I am expressive even in my silence

The Ukrainian director Roman Viktyuk, who has been living in Moscow for a long time, does not rule out a possibility that there will persecution against him because of his new performance. Some mass media have already called the performance "offending Russia and Novorossiya".

Roman Viktiuk
Roman Viktiuk
Photo: Gordonua.com

By Natalia Dvali, Editor

There was the premiere of the play "At the Beginning and the End of Times" at the Theatre of Moscow Council in Moscow. The authors are natives of Lviv: the well-known director Roman Viktyuk, who has been living in the Russian capital for more than 40 years, and the young playwright Pavlo Ariye.

The performance is about the Chernobyl tragedy, about a Ukrainian family who are living in the exclusion zone and believe that "there is no radiation, everything has been made up to make people move out." According to the Russian theatrical criticism, Viktyuk staged a parable about alienation between relatives and dear people rather than a social drama.

Along with positive responses, Russian mass media published articles with headings, "The Ukrainian director has staged an anti-Russian play", "The performance that took place in Moscow offended Russia and Novorossiya".

In his interview to the GORDON, Viktyuk talked about his attitude to accusations and why he has to keep silent about his relation to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

– Some mass media called your play anti-Russian, offending both Russia and "Novorossiya".

– They are idiots! I do not touch them, and they are searching where there is nothing anti-Russian at all. There is nothing Russophobe in the text of the play. When did the Chernobyl tragedy occur? It was one country – the Soviet Union, and Mikhail Gorbachev was in power. I would understand it if they accused me of anti-Sovietism, but an anti-Russian play … What did Russians do in Pripyat? It was Ukraine.

– Are you not afraid that you may be subject to persecution like Andrey Makarevich?

– Naturally, persecution will begin. They have already invented that I called Putin devil when I was performing in Lviv. Then I brought them a video of the performance from the balcony of the Lviv opera house.

– Where, to the Kremlin?

– No, to the State Duma. It is not only the question of Pripyat. There is something happening again around the confinement over the Chernobyl NPP. Ukraine asks for help. Who will help? They would better think about it!

Do you know who offered me the play? Ira Podolyak, Head of the Department of Culture of Lviv City Council. And the mayor of Lviv Andrey Sadovyi was so glad when I told him about the performance that he asked to present it in Lviv.

– Some people write that the performance is in Ukrainian, others claim that it is in the Russian-Ukrainian dialect. What is it actually?

– The performance cannot be in Ukrainian because Russians will never understand Ukrainian, they will decide that it is propaganda. The play is in Russian, but the musical line is in Ukrainian.

– Does not it seem to you that the Russian-Ukrainian relations are now under a confinement that will collapse soon?

– It is so! This is what I call the universal. Only love can save people, and we should start with finding it in ourselves. Characters of the play do not understand it because hate themselves and others.

– You have a pro-Ukrainian position and do not conceal it…

– I am begged to keep silent so far. The reconstruction of our theater is in progress now (Moscow authorities allocated a building to Roman Viktyuk's Theatre in the mid-nineties and it is still under reconstruction. – GORDON). We are promised that we are on the point of getting the building.

– Will they take the theater away otherwise?

– Who knows! But I am expressive even with my silence. Unfortunately. And they understand it.

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