Saint Petersburg hosted “Oedipus Rex”

Marina Merkulova’s “Oedipus in Epidurus” documentary film was presented on December 2 at the V St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum. The movie is dedicated to the “Oedipus Rex” play of the director of the Vakhtangov Theatre Rimas Tuminas with Russian and Greek actors in the ancient amphitheatre of Epidaurus. Later that night the play premiered on the stage of the Alexandrinsky theatre.


“The main thing in theatre is the process. Usually the viewer doesn’t see anything that happens behind the scene. We have a rather difficult task before us, because we had to fit a load of information into the film. The Year of Russia in Greece, the creation of the play in the Vakhtangov theatre, the process itself. We had to tell about the actors, the play, and the work in Greece. An finally show the world premiere in Epidaurus”, - said the screenwriter of the film Alexander Myagchenkov.


The shooting process wasn’t easy. The film reflected feelings and emotions of actors and the director, difficult rehearsals – all those necessary efforts, which made the ancient tragedy live on the stage. The stage, which, perhaps, hosted Sophocles’ first plays.



“Until this year there was very little information about the theatre festival in Epidaurus. And the Vakhtangov theatre, Rimas Tuminas’ play was basically our discovery and our conquest of the stage. Rimas Tuminas was very nervous about the environment, because it wasn’t easy. But it seemed that the Epidaurus accepted us with open hands”, - said the director of the film Marina Merkulova.


Alexander Myagchenkov pointed out that there are no towns or any settlements in the radius of 50 kilometers from Epidaurus. And the creators of the play were rather surprised that practically the whole amphitheatre was full at the premiere.


“People came by buses, cars. And I thought whether it is possible, that people in Russia would do that for the theatre. Whether they would dedicate their time to come to such a place for a joint Russian and Greek play”, - said Alexander Myagchenkov.


Every day in Epidaurus – on July 29 and 30 this year – the “Oedipus Rex” play gathered about 12 thousand people. On December 2 the play premiered on the stage of the Alexandrinsky theatre as part of the Cultural Forum.