Recently, an unusual performance about corruption arrived in Poltava from Kharkiv, which for the third year in a row has been shown on the stages of Ukraine and abroad. The performance was shown on Friday, 8 February, at the Poltava Academic Oblast Puppet Theater. The entry was free for everyone. The spectators filled more than half of the auditorium.
Judging by the surprised reactions the performance “Restaurant “Ukraine” was really unusual and began to surprise conservative Poltava audience from the very beginning. Without the slightest signs of the beginning, a track mixed with music and recordings of conversations of well-known politicians, which once became quotes, started to sound. In particular, the spectators could recognize the voices of the “fugitive president” who spoke about ostriches in his Mezhyhirya Residence, Mykhailo Dobkin who was unsatisfied with the recording of his speech, and “She” who promised something.
At that time, the actresses began to warm up before the performance in sports suits. Here, it seems, was the first analogy with Ukraine, when it is unclear whether something really begins, or it is just a preparation.
Then the actresses appears on the scene in suits and began to demonstrate a dynamic, tragicomic and epic show diluted by stories of corruption from their own lives and involving political figures who received great publicity. Scenes can be considered piquant because of the unusual appearance of actresses, the use of obscene words and presentation of the topic through non-standard movements.
At the end of the show, the actresses cut with knives a peculiar human-looking mock-up, which all the performance was laying on the table covered with a sheet. According to them, it is a symbol of defeated chief, leader. Inside mock-up there were candies that the actresses threw in the audience.
After performance, the organizers and actors went out to talk to the audience on the performance’s topic. An active discussion about corruption ensued.
The spectators told about their attitude to this phenomenon. In particular, the PNTU student said that the architectural faculty disappeared at the university due to the corruption pressure, and how they tried to resist the rector, having reached the Minister of Education. There was also a young man who believed that corruption creates no obstacles in life.
The spectators had different opinions on what they have seen – some did not entirely understand how this performance would help in the fight against corruption, some saw the parallel of the plot with that absurdity that is taking place in the country, and some said that they need more time to understand the essence of the performance.
The organizers say that it was the performance’s goal to stir up such a discussion, as the very name “Restaurant “Ukraine” says about it. One of the concept’s forms was the creation of a real table by which spectators would sit down and taste conditional food peculiarly served and flavored by actors.
On the other hand, the organizers tried to touch the topic of the origins of corruption. One of them, in their opinion, was born in the Soviet mentality, where restaurants and hotels typically received the names identical with a country’s or a city’s name.
They also add that the performance gives no direct answer to the question of corruption, it is in the eyes of those who see.
Creative team of the show:
Actresses: Nina Hyzhna, Oksana Cherkashyna.
Playwright: Dima Levytskyi.
Setting, sound design: Yevhen Yakshyn.
Piotr Armianovskyi was responsible for the investigation of corruption cases.
Light – Yevhen Kopiov.
Demonstration of the performance takes place within the framework of “Innovative Artistic Events to Combat Corruption” Project, NGO “Touch Point” with the support of EU Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine (EUACI) funded by the European Union and co-funded and implemented by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
Organizer: NGO “Touch Point”. The performance was created with the support of Goethe-Institut.
By Anna Aksiuk
Source – ZMIST