A. Gorbaty Jr.'s performance regarding a few chapters of Mr. F. M. Dostoyevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov. With an orchestra
Ivan and the Devil is a fragment of Dostoyevsky's novel that didn't make it into the Masterskaya Theatre's production of The Brothers Karamazov. It's about an idea. It's about pride, faith and the loss of a soul. Ivan the Philosopher has come up with a concept of how to save the world. And it turned into a monstrous justification of evil.
Dostoyevsky without the typical tropes associated with his work, with a live three-piece orchestra and a lively narrator who tells a story that starts with "there once was a father with three sons" and ends terribly. A smart, refined member of the Russian intelligentsia encounters the Devil, a lively hooligan and joker, and engages in an argument with him, first condescendingly and then in all seriousness, and finds himself unable to win. This is because this Devil is part of his idea and part of his soul. In any idea, especially of universal significance, the Devil lies hidden, always ready to show himself, chat and triumph. Idealists argue about the fate of the world, make plans for overall happiness, and lose to the sly and charming Devil.
In an age in which most people feel convinced that they know how to make everyone happy and save the world, Dostoyevsky comes off as a sort of tuning fork for our souls and thoughts. Andrei Gorbaty makes humorous and frightening the story of what happens to people possessed by an idea and who forget about what's most important – all of the people around them.
Premiered 26 August 2015.
Duration –1 hour and 15 minutes.
Director and Playwright – Andrei Gorbaty
Production Designer – Elena Chernova
Music – Andrei Didik
Light Designer – Fyodor Sokolov
Sound Engineer – Dmitri Bachinsky
Stage Managers – Svetlana Povalyaeva, Alyona Parshina