The Taganka theatre

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The Театр на Таганке  [Teatr na Taganke] or Taganka Theatre is situated at Taganka square in Moscow, on the spot where had been a prison before. The theatre was established in 1964 by Yuri Petrovich Lyubimov (1917-2014) and continued the traditions of his theatre school, the Vakhtangov Theatre, while it also tried to explore the possibilities of the epic theatre created by Bertold Brecht (1898-1956). As a matter of fact the first production was a play written by Brecht, Der gute Mensch von Sezuan and it was highly noticed. One of the characteristics of the Taganka became the so-called poetical theatre. The repertoire was partly based on the works of Andrey Andreevich Voznesensky (1933-2010) and other poets.

Under Lyubimov's direction the theatre became the most popular in Moscow, but it got lots of trouble from the Soviet authorities who banned many productions. In 1971, Lyubimov managed to organise a theatre play based on The Master and Margarita. At the end of the spectacle the actors unfolded a banner with the slogan: Рукописи не горят [rukopisi ne goryat] or Manuscripts don't burn. Despite heavy critics in the party newspaper Pravda, the play remained at the theatre's repertoire until May 1984, when it was removed from the repertoire. Lyubimov lost his citizenship and was banned to the west.

His successor, Anatoly Vasilievich Efros (1925-1987), was boycotted by the actors, and after his death in 1987 a confirmed communist, Nikolay Nikolaevich Gubenko (1941-), was put in charge.

In 1989, by the time the Soviet imperium imploded, Yuri Lyubimov got back his civil rights and returned to the theatre, but the group split. Some continued working with Lyubimov, others followed Gubenko when he started the Community of Taganka actors.

The Taganka Theatre has known quite a lot of social and political agitation, but it survived and is very popular among the Moscovites and their visitors. On the repertoire are, among others, Elektra by Sophokles, Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, The Adolescent by Dostoevsky, Faust by Goethe, and The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov.

The play is back on the repertoire since April 6, 1977, and the action is accompanied with music from Sergey Sergeevich Prokofyev, Tommaso Albinoni, Johan Strauss and Yuri Butsko.

Театр на Таганке
(Taganka Theatre)
Zemlyanyi Val, 76
Tel: +7 (495) 915-12-17
Ticket desk: daily 12.00-20.00, or on the internet.

Metro: Таганская (Taganskaya)

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