1 Narodnaya Ulitsa,
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Administrative Director
Mikhail Barsegov
Deputy Director
Alexander Ryazantsev
The St. Petersburg Masterskaya Theatre Repertoire

Ruslan and Lyudmila

The Game of the Poem. A play directed by Andrei Gorbatoy Jr. based on a poem by Alexander Pushkin

A.S. Pushkin's famous poem "Ruslan and Lyudmila" can be considered known only formally. In the vast legacy of Russia's greatest author, "Ruslan and Lyudmila" is lost to posterity, looking like ornamental folklore, inferior even in this respect to "The Fountain of Bakhchisarai" and "The Prisoner of the Caucasus".
By staging "Ruslan and Lyudmila", the director Andrei Gorbatyi Jr. brings back to the modern audience one of Pushkin's best poems, unjustly forgotten and undeservedly relegated to the category of fairy tales for preschoolers.

In "Ruslan and Lyudmila" the author himself takes an active part in the action – Pushkin is simultaneously the author, participant and spectator of the process, before our eyes the poet draws images from bylinas, legends and fairy tales and transforms them into lively, entertaining characters, in fact very conventionally related to the "legends of ancient times". The magic of creativity, the joy of inspiration is one of the fundamental themes of the performance.

"Ruslan and Lyudmila" is the archetypal story of a lone hero who enters into an unequal battle with unknown, vastly superior forces and emerges victorious. The story features a powerful villain, a strong and brave heroine, a cowardly traitor, a cruel warrior, a naive romantic, a wise mentor, a malicious beauty, the plot includes battles, chases, leisurely conversations about the meaning of life, romantic scenes, murders, battles with invaders – the text, written two centuries ago, without prejudice to the author's poetics lies at the heart of a fantastic action movie.

However, it is not the exploits of superheroes that are the key theme for the director, but love. Love as a fate, as a fate, as a force of destiny. It is not because Ruslan gets Lyudmila that he is a hero – he becomes a hero because he truly loves her. It is not because Rogdai, Ratmir and Farlaf lose because they are not ready for feats – but they are not ready for feats because they love not the Princess, but what possessing her may bring them. And Lyudmila herself is not the classic "lady in distress", she too fights for her love as best she can – and she can quite successfully. Love, sincere, passionate and selfless, turns out to be the force that moves the world. And only those who remain faithful to their love can one day save the world.

Premiere – September 28, 2020
Duration – 2 hours and 50 minutes with 1 intermission
For audiences 16 years and older


  • Director of Photography – Andrei Gorbaty Jr.
  • Production designer – Alexander Yakunin
  • Lighting designer – Igor Tupikin
  • Composer – Andrei Didik
  • Choreography – Ilya Koletsky
  • Multimedia design – Alexander Malyshev
  • Sound engineer – Egor Ubel
  • Assistant director – Alexandra Gayevaya