by Valentin Rasputin
Valentin Rasputin’s novel Live and Remember is one of the most frightening Soviet books about war. “When the war ends a different, bright world will come, particularly for them,” thinks Andrei Guskov. The world will indeed be different for him and his beloved but, unbeknownst to him, it will never be bright. Ordinarily the veteran Guskov would have been sent home from the hospital, but the war is coming to an end and everyone is being sent back to the front line. And so Guskov runs away. He doesn’t mean to run away for long, just enough to see his family, as the hospital is right next to his village, but he soon realizes that he will never be able to return anywhere. He is a deserter, and the authorities are looking for him. He returns home not a hero, but as a wild beast hiding from people, and only his wife Nastyona knows where he is and does her best to help him somehow. At least to survive. The war will end, a war that burnt everyone hollow, tore them up and broke them down. The war will end, but the pain and horror will remain. Nastyona’s own friends and neighbors will destroy her as she protects her husband to the bitter end, while he rots away in oblivion.
Grigory Kozlov’s stages Rasputin’s prose as a poem, as a song, as a Russian lamentation. This love story becomes intertwined with the story of the people, sprouts from and returns to it, and thus Rasputin’s characters – the village’s residents, the men and women who protect and destroy Nastyona, who await and destroy Andrei – grow out of the chorus and return to it. Live and Remember is a suite of love and death, of hope and despair.
Premiered 29 August 2017
Duration: 2 hours with no interval
Recommended for audiences 16 and up
Director – Grigory Kozlov
Set Designer – Nikolai Slobodyanik
Costume Designer – Nina Shterenberg
Light Designer – Dmitri Albul
Movement – Nikolai Kuglyant
Singing Coach – Grigory Uglov
Music Selection – Vladimir Bychkovsky, Dmitri Zhitko
Sound Engineer – Alexander Larionov
Video – Fyodor Sokolov
The production was made possible by a grant from the President of the Russian Federation for the Support of Creative Projects of National Significance in the Field of Culture and Art