Great loss to Russian theatre: Pyotr Fomenko dies in Moscow
The man altered the face of modern theatre in Russia becoming an icon for future generations. “An artist should view himself with a lot of irony, otherwise he risks turning into a turkey,” Fomenko once said about his work.
Pyotr Fomenko was a pioneer of the new approach to theatre, and was misunderstood by older colleagues and thus mistreated for a long time.
His staging of the top literature classics in his own rebellious manner with a twist of modernity meant the Soviet authorities often closed his shows down. Fomenko’s supervisors could not stand the freedom of thought seen in his productions. Theatre critics even called him “the defiler of the ashes of Russian classics.”
According to Kremlin envoy for international cultural cooperation, Mikhail Shvydkoy “Fomenko was even sent away to Caucasus for re-education, but he always remained true to himself.”
The 1980s were the good years for Pyotr Fomenko. With the fall of the USSR and Perestroika years he finally could speak his mind freely. Patience and hard work eventually paid off when in 1993 Fomenko opened his theatre. The Pyotr Fomenko Studio has become a mecca for Russian theatre-goers. Tickets to his performances are always sold out months before the show.
Fomenko mostly directed Russian classics like Tolstoy, Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Ostrovsky, and Gogol, but he also put on works by the likes of Shakespeare and Moliere.
Over his career Fomenko staged over 60 productions. He worked in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tbilisi and other cities.