Sweet bird of youth, Williams
Новосибирский Академический Молодёжный Театр Глобус, Novosibirsk, Russia
„The great difference between people in this world is not between the rich and the poor or the good and the evil, the biggest of all differences is between the ones that have the pleasure in love and those that haven't, but just watch it with envy, sick envy.“
Like in Tennessee Williams's most famous play "A streetcat named desire" also in "Sweet bird of youth" we see a dramatic discrepancy between the life to which the protagonists are striving and their bare disenchanted existence. The play ruthlessly confronts its characters with their naked truth, forces them to take a disillusioning look into the mirror. While Blanche Du Bois and Stanley Kowalski, the main heroes of “A streetcar named desire”, are still able to spend their energies in keeping up their masks, the characters of "Sweet bird of youth" are already forced into an open struggle for their existence.
As with the crowbar, Chance Wayne, an eternally unrecognized acting talent, still hoping for his final breakthrough, tries to force his fate. His key for entering a better future he sees in Alexandra Del Lago, the so called Princess Kosmonopolis, an aging movie diva, who, frightened by mischievous whispers in the audience, in panic ran away from the opening of her own screen comeback. Chance wants her to open for him the doors in Hollywood, on which he had been knocking his "knuckles bloody" for so long in vain. But unfortunately, the princess has little more interest in her travel companion than it is to satisfy her own needs. She keeps him as her chauffeur and lover on an escape into oblivion, as her companion on all her drinking and drug excesses.
"Sweet bird of youth" shows the American Dream as a hollow, empty promise for happiness. The dream of rising from rags to riches and the nightmare of crashing down into nothing is the actual drug in Tennessee Williams' play; like a disease making it impossible for the protagonists to become aware of themselves or each other, forcing them to blindly follow only their own interests. Though the real shock is not that their dreams never become true, but rather that these dreams are the basis for an all-encompassing exploitation, to which the figures voluntarily agree with utmost willingness until their bodies and souls are wasted and burnt out.
The cosmos of the play is dominated by the politician Boss Finlay, who uses autocratic methods and lies to ensure that government never slips out of his hands. He is the embodiment of pervasive double moral standards, which characterize the society in Tennessee Williams' play - promising everything without giving anything, securing power and possession for exactly those, who always had possessed them. Boss Finlay is the prototype of a modern-day populist politician, who understands how to make use of our fear and anger, how to manipulate our feelings for his own benefit, how to create a darkness which can be only overthrown by human empathy.
starring: Maxim Guralevich, Svetlana Galkina, Evgeniy Vazhenin, Maria Soboleva, Aleksey Kuczynski, Irina Nahaeva, Vladimir Derbentsev, Vyacheslav Kimaev, Natalia Tishchenko, Arthur Simonyan, Andrey Wolf, Ekaterina Bobrova, Nikita Zaitsev, Niyaz Ospanbaev
stage and costume design: Nadezhda Osipova
translation: Ekaterina Raykova-Merz