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Program “The Living Spaces” «12, Strastnoy Boulevard» project

About performance

THE LIVING SPACES/ 12, STRASTNOY PROJECT Participants:
Head of playwrights group: Alexander Rodionov
Playwright/director duets: Andrei Stadnikov — Yuri Kviatkovsky;
Maxim Kurochkin — Talgat Batalov;
Yekaterina Bondarenko — Yuri Muravitsky;
Mikhail Durnenkov — Lera Surkova

Photo and video: Denis Klebleyev, Yelena Shalkina.

About the project

Two months before the opening of the Festival several playwrights and directors visited the deserted interiors f the early 19th century house at 12, Strastnoy Boulevard. This house used to accommodate a military registration/ enlistment office and communal flats. Later there was a self-organized squat there. The participants in 12, Strastnoy Project discovered quite a few traces of human lives and life stories: a number of Moslem utensils, wallpapers with photographs, toys, papers etc. Within the framework of The Living Spaces Project the 12, Strastnoy team will consolidate creative efforts to produce with theatrical reconstructions of their own impressions in the actual interiors of the building that has now become a new theatre space in the city.

About the space

The house belonging to merchant F. Pik was built shortly after the 1812 fire in Moscow. Initially the front of the house overlooked a yard but in the 1830-s, after the boulevard was laid out, the side of the building became the façade. In Pushkin's times part of the building accommodated a furniture store. In 1873 the house came into possession of Dr. A. F. Redriech who built a hydropathic clinic on the first floor and residential flats on the second one. In the old days there was a spacious orchard to the building's left. There Redriech built a rented apartment house with a store and outhouses (1892, architect A. E. Erichson). It also housed a mineral water and soft drinks restaurant. For some time the halls were rented by the Gymnastics Society and was used as practice venue by well known circus performers brothers Anatoli and Vladimir Durov. The exercises of gymnasts and fencers were once seen by Anton Chekhov who was very pleased at these “men of the future” and expressed the wish that sometime all people in the country will be as strong and adroit. In the 1970-s the building was restored to its original appearance by architect N. G. Krein.

The building has the special status of “precious city-forming architectural object”.