Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia
director Rimas Tuminas
set designer Adomas Jacovskis
costume designer Maxim Obrezkov
composer Faustas Latenas
composer of choral parts Theodore Abazis
choreographer Angelica Cholina
dramaturge & academic consultant Dmitryi Trubotchkin
translator of choral parts from ancient to modern Greek Elsa Andrianou
vocal coaching of choral parts Melina Peonidou
speech coaching Elena Laskavaya
assistant directors Irina Gromova & Gabriella Tuminaite
lighting designer Narek Tumanian
sound designer Ruslan Knushevitskiiy
sound engineer Andrei Mirniy
stage manager Aleksandra Shenets
make-up artist Olga Kalyavina
Victor Dobronravov, Liudmila Maksakova, Evgeny Knyazev, Eldar Tramov, Evgeny Kosyrev, Vitalys Semenovs, Valery Ushakov, Artur Ivanov, Maxim Sevrinovskiy, Ekaterina Simonova, Pavel Yudin, Yuriy Tsokurov
chorus Ilya Algaer, Panagiotis Athanasopoulos, Thanasis Vlavianos, Giorgos Gallos, Dimitris Georgiadis, Kostas Korakis, David Magaldadze, Sokratis Patsikas Giorgos Stamos, Leonardos, Kheyfets-Batis, Spiros Tsekuras, Fedor Vorontsov, Eugeny Pilugin, Aleksandr Galochkin, Yannis Zafeiropoulos
children Tatiana Polosina, Maria Rival
"Oedipus the King" is a cooperative project of the Vakhtangov Theatre and the National Theatre of Greece directed by Rimas Tuminas. The show suggests a bilingual form: the Vakhtangov Theatre actors perform the leading parts and Greek actors perform the Chorus.
The contemporary theatre lost understanding of what the ‘chorus’ is, and how it can be a character in tragedy or comedy. Russian theatre also does not have chorus. Only in the Greek culture of the 20th century the sense of the choral action and the understanding of the need for it was rebuilt, step-by-step.
Sophocles’ greatest skill is his ability to embody the extreme state of a human soul being torn apart, into a perfect and harmonious theatrical form, and to reinforce the storyline with clear metaphors and symbols. This is the core of his unique gift of theatrical storytelling. Aristotle used Sophocles’ tragedies as an example for all later playwrights because he perceived them as the clearest essence of tragedy. For Aristotle Oedipus the King was the most exemplary piece of the tragic genre. The effect of Oedipus on the whole of European culture is enormous.
We can say that Oedipus the King is not a tragedy of fate but a tragedy of self-discovery. Oedipus’ valour is not in his absurd determination to challenge gods and prophecies. It is seen in the fact that he did not back away from his investigation even after it became clear that he has been drawn directly into the darkness of his past, and that it might bring dangerous discoveries. After having discovered what he had done, Oedipus unreservedly accepted his destiny, mercilessly punished himself and began to live the way his crime required. The king turned into an outcast, the unhappiest one of people whose life only consisted of suffering.
Rimas Tuminas said: "It is the right time for the Sophocles tragedy. I wish to make a performance about the most important things: virtue and honour. A story about a leader, a man who is strong enough to recompense his own sins, to accept punishment: exile and poverty till the end of his life. Oedipus punishes himself for his crime. It’s hardly possible to find such person in our todays’ reality. Most of the men in power, leaders don’t find themselves guilty at all. Everything is approved and allowed. It’s time to remind about virtue and honour".