Rebel Moscow theatre closes doors with defiant last performance | Russia-Ukraine war News

Russian movie director, who fled Russia after criticising the battle in Ukraine, denounced the ‘homicide’ of his former theatre.

The Gogol Centre theatre, one of many final bastions of creative freedom in Russia, has shut its doorways with a defiant last present known as, I Don’t Take Half In Warfare.

The emotional play on Thursday night time, protesting towards the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, marked a dramatic finish of an period for the Russian capital’s ever-shrinking opposition and intelligentsia circles.

Beforehand run by insurgent director Kirill Serebrennikov, who left Russia after criticising Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine, the Gogol Centre staged daring performs for a decade, typically testing more and more strict legal guidelines and Moscow’s sharp conservative flip beneath President Vladimir Putin.

The ultimate efficiency on Thursday night time had a few of the viewers in tears when actors recited poems by Soviet poet and soldier Yuri Levitansky, who was born in what’s now Ukraine.

The ultimate play’s title was taken from certainly one of Levitansky’s emblematic verses: “I don’t participate in battle, it takes half in me”.

Because the present ended, the theatre’s outgoing creative director, Alexei Agranovich introduced, “The Gogol Centre is closed. Perpetually.”

On Wednesday night, Moscow authorities introduced a change of administration at a number of Moscow’s high theatres together with Sovremennik and Gogol Centre. The Gogol Centre would get its outdated title again – The Nikolai Gogol Drama Theatre, the authorities mentioned.

Serebrennikov, who was creative director of the Gogol Centre between 2012 and 2021, accused the authorities of “murdering” his former theatre that he had constructed right into a nationwide cultural beacon.

“Sure. Gogol Centre has been shuttered. That’s it,” Serebrennikov wrote on the messaging app Telegram.

“From the viewpoint of artwork, this isn’t simply sabotage – that is homicide.”

He mentioned the change of management was punishment for the venue’s “honesty” and an “try at freedom”, together with efforts to protest Moscow’s battle on Ukraine.

The 52-year-old director was caught up in a high-profile fraud case that his supporters say was punishment by the Kremlin for difficult the Russian authorities.

One other distinguished Moscow theatre, the Sovremennik, can even have a change of administration, authorities mentioned.

These modifications are seen as a part of an rising crackdown on any dissent since President Putin despatched troops into Ukraine.

On Thursday, Serebrennikov addressed the viewers by way of video hyperlink from Avignon in southeastern France.

“The Gogol Centre is an concept, the thought of freedom. Freedom shouldn’t be lifeless. Freedom lives on so long as we reside,” he mentioned.

In his tackle, Serebrennikov pledged that, regardless of the closure in Moscow, the theatre’s mission would reside on.

“There was this constructing. There will probably be one other,” he mentioned.

“I hope, sometime, the battle will finish and the attractive Russia of the long run will emerge.”