In Phantom Vibrations, recent graduates of Moscow Art Theatre School’s Viktor Ryzhakov Studio, now known as JulyEnsemble, present their perspective on their own generation of millennials. Nine performers invite visitors on a tour of a theatre museum, where everyone is free to do what they want: follow the actor, explore the exhibits independently or leave the space and come back. Somebody blows up balloons, while others shout out slogans and others again play with Legos. Peter Pan kids don’t want to grow up and suffer from phantom vibrations — an anxiety-related illusion that one's mobile phone is vibrating when in actual fact it is not. Whether you treat it as a quest or promenade theatre, an immersive performance or a generation manifesto, this experimental production is a collective experience and a very personal journey — a study of the 90s’ generation, their interests, fears, and dreams and an investigation into theatre. To some of us this imaginary journey to Neverland will seem painful; others will enjoy the show’s departure from theatrical convention.
‘Gradually, the performance moves further away from theatre and closer to real life […], where, whether they want it or not, the actors have to take off the protective masks of their roles and face the viewer… The exploration of exhibits in a museum gives place to dialogue, which might turn out to be challenging if not unpleasant.’
Anna Banasyukevich, Teatr