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ROMEO AND JULIET

Sexual inclination

Marina Davydova / Izvestia

2003-11-06

The action takes place in the kitchen. To be more exact in the kitchen of a pizzeria, as it’s Italy. Two teams, not families, but namely teams are competing against each other in joviality and inventiveness. Francis Ford Copola was asked how the idea to make the film “Apocalypse Today” came to his mind; to this question he answered: I imagined how great the attack of helicopters after the music of Wagner would look”. It sometimes seems that if you asked Korsunovas why he decided to stage the tragedy of Shakespeare, he would answer: I realised that there were so many possibilities hidden in such a simple thing as dough. It’s namely the dough – changeable, easily shaped, obedient and sticky – becomes the main metaphor (the word “substance” comes first) of this production. Everything needed for a soul can be shaped of it. And for a body as well.
Except the dough there is another metaphorically dominant element in the staging of Korsunovas – flour. It represents talc, the white mask of death, the poison for Romeo and a miraculous soporific for Juliet. Laurence will be sprinkling it over a head as if he’ll be using ashes. And the cauldron filled with it will become the place of death, wedding and sexual initiation.
In the production, as it always happens with Korsunovas, there are a few amazingly powerful scenes. For example, the scene where the nurse dresses up Juliet in a wedding dress when she’s deeply asleep, and then, straight after, puts her arms on her chest: the wedding bed turns into the bed of death. Very astonishing is the final scene where Friar Laurence, after the death of the main characters, hopelessly tries to open the cover of a coffin in a family grave. Romeo and Juliet, sprinkled with flour, are spinning at that time in the cauldron on the very avant-stage. What a beautiful roundabout! The cover of the coffin falls down. The characters suddenly subside and settle down. Death seems to be stronger than life.