The reading of the play “The Pants” by Pavel Pryazhko was planned to perform in the art-cafe “Brick” on December 18. But suddenly it occurred that we have to receive the permission of so-called art commission, which includes the functionaries “from culture” and representatives of the “official” culture of Brest. As a result the play was banned for showing in public.
As a result of watching by the commission the play “The Pants” was forbidden to show because of the large amount of inappropriate language, “which is not allowed in cultural institutions,” unintelligible and incomprehensible plot of the play, unsatisfactoriness and poverty of theatrical aesthetics, expressed in the absence of theatrical costumes and scenography (NB “The Pants” was claimed as a reading, not a performance), a general feeling of “toilet” speech and the topic of the play itself … Also we were blamed in bad directing and bad acting, too long and trembling video because of handheld camera, and even ugliness of Nina’s underwear, which she hangs on a rope in the video… It was said that the theatre can not be like that – it has to teach, to please the eye, to be aesthetic, and so on. An important reason for the ban was the inability to transfer mat by some members of the committee and the denial of the fact that the abusive language is used by a large part of the Russian-speaking society.
At the end of it was said that those 10 spectators, who come to our performance, are not able to pay back the work of the café, and added that we have gathered to deceive the audience and sell the tickets on obviously disastrous performance (although the idea of selling tickets is not ours, but we never receive anything from the tickets to our performances). And in the end it was recommended to thank the commission for the good critics and for preventing our shame in front of the audience …
Separate argument was that Pryazhko is loved and performed in Russia, but “from the cellars he doesn’t climb” (meaning Teatr.doc in Moscow), which is certainly despised by a respected director of Brest Drama and Music Theatre, and we (pathetic fans) received much more contempt from him. But the same dose of contempt (and humiliation) our theatre gets nearly 9 years from these very artistic commissions.
“The Pants” by Pavel Pryazhko is an experiment for our theatre. Pryazhko is Belarussian playwright, which practically is not played in Belarus, and we want his plays to be seen / heard by the Belarusian audience. We almost never used the word in our performances. Besides, it was a challenge to ourselves, can we cope with this kind of text, and this kind of language? Not all the performances must be digestible and successful with the spectators. Something may cause a rejection, and that is normal. There is an experiment in drama, and there is an experiment in theatre. None of us is afraid of being criticized by a spectator, but today we are denied in that opportunity.
We conceived a discussion with the audience after the reading “The Pants” to understand the reaction of the spectators on the drama. But revealing was the reaction of the commission: “Discuss what? Nothing to discuss!” The commission was not interested in the spectators’ opinion as well as our own opinion was not interested …
But still we are eager to know if we were disgraced by spectators as it was promised by the commission.
Media about the ban