The production at the Theater on the Left Bank is based on a work by the modern French playwright Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt.
This modern author – writer, playwright and philosopher – is already a classic. Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s works have been translated into 40 languages and staged in 50 countries. “Mysterious Variations” is among those staged in Kyiv. “Tectonics of feelings”, “Oscar and the pink lady”.
This time director Mykhailo Uryvskyi turned to Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s story “Draw me a plane” from the series “Revenge and Forgiveness”.
The main character is 92-year-old Werner von Besslau, a former pilot, a veteran of the Wehrmacht. Meeting a neighbor girl, Daphne, who asks him to draw a plane and read a book, forces him to remember the events of the past and reveal a terrible secret that turns his whole life upside down. Every act has its consequences and requires redemption, Werner understands at the end of his life.
“This is my third appeal to Schmitt. “Oscar and the Pink Lady” and “Noah’s Children” were also staged in Lviv, the director shared Mykhailo Urytskyi. — I wanted to make a stage play based on this work and applied to the NSTU dramaturgy school-laboratory under the leadership of Pavel Aryeh. Then there was a festival of stage readings based on these skits. The stage reading was successful. When the war began, I realized that the text acquired new meanings and accents. I was in Lviv, did several stage readings there. They showed that people need theater and things like that. Finally, the play became a theatrical production.”
According to him, the play does not give answers, but asks the audience questions, makes them think.
“In our time, this work is very triggering. Schmitt is a humanist who justifies his hero. For us, the relevant question is: does atonement and remorse justify what was committed?”, Mykhailo Urytskyi notes.
The main character is played by actor Oleg Stefan. He also took part in stage readings. As the director notes, Oleg plays his hero very successfully and accurately. He embodies a wide palette on stage — from tenderness to remorse, from memories to redemption.
“I love this author very much. In our theatrical world, there are very few simple, but deep and empathic things, he admits Oleg Stefan. — When we are surrounded by a lot of aggression, we want to give this material, which raises questions, a chance. He is also connected with war. Everything happens in the range between jealousy and love, truth and untruth, compassion and the impossibility of forgiveness.
Like the main character, there are always people in life who provoke us to solve the issues that arise inside. They come as if to resolve the situation. But this is possible only through pain points, and it is always difficult. That’s why the story is very interesting.”
The girl Daphne in the play is played by Kateryna Kachan and Yuliya Shapoval. And the roles of Joken (Werner’s son), Lector and Martin Muller are played by Maksym Samchyk and Dmytro Oliynyk.
The poster for the performance was created by the well-known Ukrainian artist and illustrator Nikita Titov. Also, before the premiere, an exhibition of Nikita Titov’s works “Call Sign Ukraine” opened in the foyer of the theater, which started the project “Theatre with an Artist”.
The exhibition is dedicated to ordinary Ukrainians without military experience who stood up to defend Ukraine. The slogan “I never thought that I would wear this uniform, but this is my Earth” very well conveys the mood of teachers, IT workers, humorists, journalists, actors, people of creative professions who were forced to take up arms.
“These works are about faith in the future. About those who change and will change our country for the better. “The new Ukraine will be a very strong state that the whole world will be proud of,” says Nikita Titov.
Each poster has an original signature of the author. During the exhibition, a charity lottery will be held, where everyone will be able to take part in drawing these illustrations.