From iconoclast to traditionalist : a study of Anatolii Efros's productions of Chekhov, Gogol and Turgenev

Dixon, Ros (2003) From iconoclast to traditionalist : a study of Anatolii Efros's productions of Chekhov, Gogol and Turgenev. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Between 1951 and 1987 the Russian director Anatolii Efros created seventy four stage productions, thirteen television films, four feature films and four radio plays. His work made a significant contribution to the development of Russian theatre in the twentieth century, but has received no comprehensive study in Russian or English.

This thesis provides an overview of his career but concentrates on a central aspect: his response to the Russian classic canon. It analyses in depth seven productions created in Moscow over some fifteen years. These are discussed in the context of his reaction to their performance history and as a reflection both of changing political circumstances and of his own character and development.

His response is shown to have evolved from radical, overtly contemporary, iconoclastic re-interpretation towards a greater indebtedness to tradition and in particular to the legacy of Stanislavsky.

His productions of Chekhov's The Seagull (1966) and Three Sisters (1967) were daring assertions of artistic independence. They were condemned and banned both as irreverent attacks on the sacrosanct style of the Moscow Art Theatre and for their overfly political implications. In 1975, Gogol's Marriage and Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, though innovative, were less controversial; though they too reflected contemporary concerns, their messages were more muted. Turgenev's A Month in the Country in 1977 marked the beginnings of the change in his approach, and this became increasingly apparent in the 1980s. At the beginning of a period of irrevocable socio-political change, the Soviet theatre was in crisis, and Efros himself had serious problems, prompted in part by criticism of Road (an adaptation of Gogol's Dead Souls) in 1980. His second staging of Three Sisters in 1982 was characterised by a reassessment of his earlier ideas and an increasing concern for historical continuity.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Marsh, C.E.A.
Subjects: P Language and literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
Item ID: 11232
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2010 08:55
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 12:33

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