As hot as it gets! My cup of tea!
North Rhine-Westphalian passions from Saint Petersburg incarnate!

„Afrikanische Leidenschaft“
Theater Za Tshernoj Retshkoj. St. Petersburg. Russland.
“African Passions”. Theater Za Tshernoj Retshkoj. Saint Petersburg. Russia.

This week I had the happiness to witness the exuberant performance by the Theatre from Saint Petersburg. It was especially pleasant premonition, as the actors did come from Russia. And I was very eager to reunite myself with the aura of the Russian Theatre. The long awaited meeting, finally, materialized in the evening of July 23rd, 2022 in Witten. At the Theatre A Parte (Annenstraße 20A, 58453 Witten), under the auspices of the Second International Theatre Festival “Klein Aber Fein”.

This performance was the most wide format dramatic event of the festival. Four actors performing on stage the comedy, which also does boarder the drama scenario at times. The problematic and dilemmas full and prone relationships between the generations, the eternal perplexing question mark in the dialogues between the children and the parents. Albeit, in this staging such dialogues are behind the scenes.The Thespian ensemble on stage

- Alen (actor Anatoli Zhuravin)
- Annet – his wife (actress Alla Danishevsky)
- Veronika (actress Julia Kaim)
- Michelle (actor Sergey Gvozdev)
exponentially reflected the process of doubts, concerns, alliances and confrontations going through the minds and hearts of the two families. How to find the just, appeasing, mutually acceptable solution for the occurred conflict? When the two progeny offsprings did quarrel and the blood (from the dental cavity) was spilled.

And to the honour of the performing team I must say, that comedy agitation and suspense were kept at the very high artistic level on stage! And, of course, the Japanese tea ceremony and the herbal infusions from Maghreb were the great creative solutions for edifying in front of the public this humorous and exotic milieu. This set of very unexpected circumstances. With the pinch of contemplating introspection and sadness about the uncompromising fierceness of the adolescent behaviour and attitudes.

...Broken teeth, probably, false accusations – recriminations in public. In front of the coevals. What really happened between the children of these two couples? The play does not decipher this riddle. And does leave the room for the spectators to think... And in this way, it is somewhat intriguing. As every theatre goer has his own denouement of the play.

I also would like to dedicate several words of gratitude to the plasticity of the actresses, playing Veronika (actress Julia Kaim) and Annet (actress Alla Danishevsky). The dancing, pas, flexibility of these heroines of the staging were truly remarkable. And made the whole performance even more lively and sparkling! The passionate dancing was very well felt in the African Passions.

As it was the comedy about the family relationships, the masterpiece of the French work of the literary art, and the activities did take place in France, of course, I recollected the “Le Jouet” movie, which my Dear Mama and I watched so long time before today in the end of 1970s. At the small township of Velegozh on the banks of the Oka river not far away from our native Tula...
I was thinking, how Francois Perrin (unforgettably performed by Pierre Richards) would be behaving himself in the situation, in which the major characters of the movie did appear. What might be his educational approach to reconcile the quarrel of two children, almost teenagers? I am certain, that Francois Perrin, undoubtedly, at least, would make the boisterous boys write something on paper about the incident and would make the attacker and the victim read their thoughts to each other.
Personally for me, the character of Francois Perrin is the personification of the educator and the teacher. And I would like to wish all of us, artists, spectators, to be trying to achieve the wisdom and kindness of this writer from Paris!

“The African Passions” were really as hot, as it could only be in Africa. And this staging is really my cup of tea!
The dialogues of this play do also give room and space to contemplate the realities of nowadays.

I would like most wholeheartedly thank the Thespian quartet from Saint Petersburg for their revitalizing, truly passionate performance! Your dancing was full of improvising fervour and amorous ardour. North Rhine-Westphalian passions from Saint Petersburg incarnate!

Dear Theatre A Parte, thank You very much for allowing me to be Your guest!

Yours Truly,

Pinkhas-Peter Friesen