Death of Paul I.

Premiere:  08/09/2007
Igor in role: Petr Alexandrovič Pahlen, Count, military governor of St. Petersburg

A drama of power and human tragedy

One of the most important representatives of Russian modernism, Dmitri Merezhkovsky, wrote his best theatre performance amidst the unsettled atmosphere of the first Russian revolution in 1905. In a masterful way, he depicted the two faces of the unloved son of Catherine the Great, Czar Paul I – an unscrupulous tyrant and raging beast, as well as an affectionate lover and sentimental dreamer. The drama reached the Russian stage after the fall of the monarchy and it was staged successfully in Europe in the twenties (when the Bolshevik regime forced the author into exile). Historically accurate, psychologically precise and a dramatically moving depiction of the demonic air of despotism and its cruelty in contrast with the fragility of humans – a combination of all of these made Merezhkovsky’s play into one of the most impressive portrayals of Russian history. At the same time, it is an extraordinarily powerful work of timeless dimensions. Against a background of social misery, a family tragedy unfolds, reaching the grandiosity of the great tragedies of antiquity. After several highly acclaimed plays (which were also awarded prizes) – The Stone Guest (Il Convitato di Pietra), Devotion to the Cross and Amphitryon, this is yet another piece by Hana Burešová to be staged at our theatre.