Synopsis of the play “Sweet Kid”
Two families are living in different parts of the world: a father, bringing up a daughter by himself in Lithuania, and mother, bringing up a son by herself in Russia’s Siberia. The act starts in 1941 before the very beginning of the World War II in the Soviet Union of those days. The Lithuanian father is being deported to Siberia. His preparations for the journey and the narrative about the journey itself is a playful lie concealing the gloomy truth from the daughter who’s stayed in Lithuania.
Thrown out into the freezing cold of Siberia, coatless Lithuanian intellectual doesn’t join a silent resolution of his natives to “to die, but not to give in”. He starts looking for the way to survive and is looked down with contempt by other Lithuanians. In his horizon there appears the chairwoman of a local collective farm – Nastia who’s bringing up her son – Lionia. Nastia and her home become the only goal in Father’s life. Having been trampling the snow under her windows for a long time he not only finds the key to her house, but gradually consolidates in her heart as well. The appearance of a new man at home provokes the envy of son, Lionia, but shortly after he is called up for military service and Father becomes full and equal resident in Nastia’s house.
When the Soviet army is marching across Lithuania, Lionia drops in Father’s house to give best regards to his daughter Silvia who’s stayed in Lithuania. During this short visit Lionia and Silvia feel attracted to each other. Liona doesn’t come back home after the end of World War II, he moves to Silvia’s place, thus exchanging places with Father.
Two elderly people in Siberia, longing for their children, are slowly and patiently trying to establish their life together, at the same time their children in Lithuania are building the life based on mutual hatred. Between Lionia and Father – the two one-handed (the former lost his hand at war, the latter – when he’s working as a woodcutter)- there starts the war of letters. Father intercepts Lionia’s letters, addressed to Nastia where he’s demanding to threaten Silvia. Lionia intercepts Father’s letters, not letting them reach Silvia. Both men are creating new texts of the letters. It comes out as comical situations, which do not convince the two women (Nastia and Silvia).
Gradually, Father starts avoiding the outer world and plunges into some kind of madness taking Nastia together with himself. Their only activity becomes the search of radio interference that reminds the murmur of sea. Being unable to find the tranquility in the reality, they find it in the “murmur”.
The relationship of Lionia and Silvia end up in explosion. Having tried to find the common language in the beginning, later they only look for interference and captious objections in each other’s behaviour. As if being a hostage of parent’s love, the young couple doesn’t find their love. Having lost his patience, Lionia rapes Silvia. Taking vengeance, disgraced Silvia, brandishes over Lionia’s head with scythe.
The last act repeats the first one. Nastia with a five-year-old Lionia are discussing his drawing. He’s been given the task to draw a house and he has drawn a fence as if designating his hopeless future.
About the play:
“I was three years old, when I started to write, or if I’d talk more precisely, to sketch the play “Malysh”*. It is recorded to a type and, probably, that’s why it remains in my memory… There is an interview where my father and me are talking about the drawing lection. I’ve drawn the fence, while the task had been to draw a house” – thinks of M.Ivaskevicius. The play starts and comes to the end with the drawing exactly of that way. It somehow sets a frame for the life of the main character. The character is a boy in the beginning and latter young man: Russian Lionia, who lives with his mother in a village of Siberia. The Lithuanian exile who had left his daughter Silvia at home, in Lithuania, gets exactly to that place. One day Lionia visits her. The title of the play is bilingual. The personages who are pictured in a pre-war, war and post-war situations also use two languages: Russian and Lithuanian. According to the playwright, the lifes of four people that are weaved into one destiny was more important to him than the historical background.
* Sweet Kid (rus.)