The Satyricon TheatreRussian: Teatr «Satirikon» or Театр «Сатирикон» is the creation of the legendary actor and People’s Artist of the USSR, Arkady Raykin. The theatre embodies this extraordinarily talented and exceptional actor loved by millions of people in Russia. After Arkady Raykin’s death, his ideas were taken up and promoted by his son and colleague, Konstantin, and a wide range of innovative interpretations are staged here. The Satyricon Theatre passed from variety miniature shows to full-scale dramatic performances, surprising audiences by the variety of its shows and the director’s innovative vision of stage production.
HISTORY OF THE THEATRE
Back in 1939, young actor Arkady Raykin joined the troupe of the Leningrad Theatre of Variety and MiniaturesRussian: Leningradskiy teatr estrady i miniatur or Ленинградский театр эстрады и миниатюр. At the time, nobody would have thought that this theatre, having significantly expanded by the 1980s under the direction of Arkady Raykin, would change its name from the ‘LeningradSaint Petersburg’ to the ‘State’ theatre and move to Moscow. The history of the famous Satyricon Theatre began in the city on the Neva RiverRussian: reka Neva or река Нева with a small group of variety artists who toured around the Soviet Union during WWII, joining the fight in their own way with weapons of satire.
Arkady Raykin was not only the creative inspiration for the young theatre, but also its leading actor, giving preference to satiric, vocal and dance performances that won the affection of the whole nation. The Leningrad Theatre of Miniature toured a lot across the Soviet Union and western countries until the 1970s, gradually acquiring the reputation of the USSR’s leading variety theatre. In 1970, however, changes in the Communist Party leadership put a start to a decade-long run of bad luck in Arkady Raykin’s life. A number of his productions were shut down and he was banned from going on television and radio. The vicious cycle was finally broken in 1981, when his son Konstantin joined the theatre and, supported by a group of young actors, initiated its relocation from Leningrad to Moscow. That same year, through Arkady Raykin’s efforts, the Theatre of Miniature purchased a cinema building in Maryina RoshchaRussian: Марьина Роща District, where it has been located ever since.
Much has changed since the theatre’s move to Moscow. Over the years, its repertoire lost its topicality, highlighting the need for the development of new productions and responding promptly to changes within society. First together with his father and later – after his father’s death in 1987 – all by himself, Konstantin Raykin continued experimenting with the new look of the theatre which was renamed the Satyricon State Theatre that same year. Etymologically, this name recalls the satirical genre, towards which the theatre gravitates, while alluding to the eponymous novel by the ancient Roman author Petronius, Federico Fellini’s movie based on this novel, and Russian magazines entitled Satyricon and The New Satyricon popular in the early 20th century. All these cultural phenomena ridiculed in one way or another the contemporary society and its vices.
Satyricon theatre today
Konstantin Raykin has followed in his father’s footsteps, as his fine taste in art has allowed him to select the finest literary sources for his theatre’s repertoire. Thus, it is at the Satyricon Theatre that Roman Viktyuk staged Jean Genet’s The MaidsRussian: Sluzhanki or Служанки that became one of the symbols of modern theatre-going Russia.
In the past 25 years, the Theatre’s Main and Small stages have seen productions by almost all prominent present-day directors: Alexander Gorban and Valery Fokin, Robert Sturua and Viktor Ryzhakov. Among the most sought-after productions today are The Double BassRussian: Kontrabas or Контрабас, Konstantin Raykin’s one-man show production of a one-act monologue play by Patrick Süskind) and The London ShowRussian: Лондон Шоу, a comedy production of Pygmalion, a play by English playwright Bernard Shaw. The Satyricon Theatre loves to surprise, which is why, in its productions, characters always get into the most unexpected and confusing situations. Stage settings break traditional theatrical patterns, and music plays an active part in performances. Comedy blends with tragedy, tears and laughter stand side by side, thus creating a more realistic image of an individual’s life with all its ebbs and flows, joys and sorrows. Every new production by Yury Butusov, one of the most difficult-to-understand modern directors, always has a full house, so make sure you book your tickets well in advance. The heart-wrenching King LearRussian: Korol Lir or Король Лир starring Konstantin Raykin and Denis Sukhanov and Maryana Spivak in OthelloRussian: Отелло are the embodiment of euphoria and catharsis.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com