Don Juan

Date:2019-07-15      Source:National Centre for the Performing Arts

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Venue: Theatre

Dates: July 19 - 20, 2019


The legend of Don Juan was created in Spain and later introduced into France from Italy. Don Juan reveals the sin of the feudal aristocracy. Molière adapted this story into a five-act play. Almost every director puts some new elements in Don Juan, but there is always a challenge to solve when it comes to the last scene, i.e., how to punish Don Juan. Compared with Molière's other plays, the Don Juan directed by Alexander Morfov is of a chic style. In his version, Don Juan has a striking, delicate, serious and vainglorious image, which is vividly contrasted by Elvira's subtle passion. This contrast highlights his sin and leads him to the final punishment.


Molière's Don Juan premiered at the Royal Court in Paris on February 15th, 1665, staging 39 scenes in 5 acts, presenting a colourful storyline and sharp dramatic conflict. There are 19 characters forming a community.

Molière revealed the hope and courage in the heart of the declining French aristocrats of the 17th century. Don Juan is the perfect opposite of Hamlet, who is unswerving in his loyalty, but he is also a tragedy, a different one. Like Prometheus, who is bold in stealing fire from God, he shows his rebellious spirit, which contains a yearning for freedom and a disbelief in supernatural beings, behind his dissolute love lifestyle as a playboy.


Alexander Morfov Director

Alexander Morfov graduated from the National Academy of Art of theatre and Cinema (Sofia) in two specialties - “Director of Drama and Puppet theatre” (1990) and “Director of Cinema” (1994). Immediately after the graduation performance, he was invited to the Sofia City theatre “Behind the Channel”, where he staged King Ubyu by Alfred Jarry (1991), The Tempest (1998) and Hamlet by William Shakespeare in the La Strada Theatre.

From 1994 to 2000, he is Chief Director of the National Theatre of Bulgaria named after Ivan Vazov. Among his productions on the country's leading stage are William Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote, Magic Night by Samuel Beckett, Slawomir Mozhek and Eugene Ionesco, At the Bottom by Maxim Gorky, Dekameron or Passion by Boccaccio by Giovanni Boccaccio, Exiles by Ivan Vazov, Don Juan, Flying over the Cuckoo's Nest, etc.

Since 2001, he has been successfully working in Russia. His first performance - The Tempest in the theatre of V. Komissarzhevskaya conquered Petersburg and was awarded the highest award of Russia in the field of the theatre “Golden Mask”. Immediately he was invited to Moscow, to the theatre of the famous Russian actor Alexander Kalyagin "Et cetera", where he released Don Quixote and King Ubyu with Kalyagin in the lead role. The performances were nominated for the "Golden Mask", Alexander Kalyagin received the award for "The Best Role" by Papa Ubyu.

From 2003 to 2006, he is Chief Director of the theatre. V. Komissarzhevskaya in St. Petersburg, where he staged five performances and won the Golden Sophit Award for Moliere's Don Juan and re-nominated for the Golden Mask. His performances Flying Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Alexander Abdulov and The Visit of an Old Lady with Maria Mironova at the Lenkom Theatre were events in the theatrical life of Moscow. Winner of more than 20 national and international theatre awards, among them the Golden Mask, the Seagull, the Crystal Turandot, etc.

In 2005, he worked in America with Mikhail Baryshnikov on the theatre project Doctor and Patient by R.Gabriadze.

In 2006, he returned to the National Theatre, where he is still the main director. Morfov's performances were presented at international theatre festivals in Vienna, Casablanca, Kiev, Torun, Ohrid, Belgrade, Wroclaw, Hamburg, etc. He successfully worked in Europe - in France, Sweden, Macedonia, Romania, Latvia, and in recent years and in Israel.

Morfov is also a film director, screenwriter and actor. He played in the films Ivan and Alexandra, Friends of Emilia, Last Week, Goat Horn, Love Summer of One Burdock, Road to Jerusalem, etc.


Aleksandr Kudrenko as Don Juan

In 2006, Aleksandr Kudrenko graduated from Firshtinsky master class of the St. Petersburg Theatre Academy. Many of his classmates, including him, become famous actors in dramas and films.

Upon graduation, he was invited to work at the Alexsandrinsky Theatre. Later he was invited to work at St. Petersburg Bolshoi Drama Theatre, where he played many roles. Critics commented on his outstanding qualities: His tall figure, cool face, opaque eyes. He is also known as a Dostoevskian style actor.

The drama critic in St. Petersburg Stojalyova said of him: "He is not only an actor who can play his role well on the stage, but he is contemporary, he has the rhythm, sound, eye and tone of our times. He interprets the tragedy and tragic fate of the times. "

He began experimenting with directing in 2014. He directed the play Underground Comedy from a small stage at the Alexsandrinsky Theatre. The critics pointed out that his plays had the feature of being directed by an actor.

In 2015, he adapted the drama Seaguall which was directed by his mentor Firshtinsky, written by Chekhov. In 2015, he conducted masterclass at the Vinci Theatre, where he directed the play in the Subway with the students. In 2016, he served as the chief director of "Dostoevsky's Day" in St. Peterburg, and also directed the drama In the Tavern at the Kuznetsov Street. In 2017, a master class led by him performed the drama Waiting Room, Chekhov.

He starred in more than a dozen of TV series. He played the roles of criminal, gangster, policeman, etc. He is a master of drama who brings together actors, directors and teachers.


Komissarzhevskaya Theatre

October 18th, 2019 marks the 77th birthday of Komissarzhevskaya Theatre, which was founded in the besieged Leningrad in 1942, so it is called the “Theatre of Great Siege”. It was renamed the Leningrad Drama Theatre in 1944, and renamed after the great Russian actress Komissarzhevskaya in 1959.

On October 18th, 1942, when the city was under siege most cruelly, the drama Russians was staged at the theatre, marking its birth. A group of artists full of passion began to give performances, promoting the opening of the theatre. They formed the first troupe of the future Komissarzhevskaya Theatre. During hard times, changes often took place in the director, theatricality and creation orientation of the theatre.

In 2018, Victor Novikov invited Leonid Alimov as chief director. In a short period of time, he staged a series of masterpieces: Alexander Solzhenitsyn's novel Matryona's Home, Pasternak’s full-length novel Doktor Zhivago, and an ode to some city I’m Back to my City…

The Komissarzhevskaya Theatre has an all-embracing repertoire, in which there are the world’s classic dramas, classic Russian dramas and the dramas by contemporary writers. The theatre has won numerous awards nominations both at home and abroad. It often attends the international drama festivals held in Russia, China, Turkey, Slovenia, Japan, Czech Republic, Georgia and Italy, etc. It has also toured foreign countries such as Israel, Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Albania, Macedonia, Slovenia, Germany, the USA, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Japan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro and Cuba.