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‘He did not go back to the army’: war, patriotism and desertion in Pavel Pryazhko’s The Soldier

Rowson, James (2021) '‘He did not go back to the army’: war, patriotism and desertion in Pavel Pryazhko’s The Soldier.' Studies in Theatre and Performance. ISSN 1468-2761

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Abstract

Over the past twenty years, a collection of theatre makers in Russia have staged suppressed and marginalised voices to engage with the political and social realities of contemporary Russia. The work of these innovative theatre practitioners has been collated under the idiom of New Drama (Novaya Drama). Previous studies of New Drama have placed an emphasis on the role of the text and the playwright’s dynamic use of contemporary language. While acknowledging that these are important features of the New Drama repertoire, this article provides an alternative approach by examining the work of Pavel Pryazhko. This article explores Pryazhko’s The Soldier (Soldat, 2011), in the context of the Second Chechen War and Vladimir Putin’s revivification of the military in the public sphere. Through a detailed study of The Soldier in performance, this article contends that the production’s content and form is vital in generating an oppositional discourse about the role of the military in contemporary Russian society. Pryazhko’s eschewal of traditional notions of theatrical language and dialogic interaction in The Soldier disrupts the audience’s expectations of what a theatre performance is, and subsequently facilitates a wider dialogue about the Kremlin’s privileging of the military in Russia.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: The soldier, pavel pryazhko, new drama, teatr.doc, russian theatre, vladimir putin
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > East 15 Acting School
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2021 12:41
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2021 12:41
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30960

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