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Plasticine (NHB Modern Plays)

Plasticine (NHB Modern Plays)

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Plasticine (NHB Modern Plays)

3/5 (1 valutazione)
87 pagine
53 minuti
Aug 4, 2016


An extraordinary and disturbing play about post-Communist Russia by a young Siberian-born writer.

Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright
Anti-Booker Prize, Moscow

In a faceless city in the depths of present-day Russia a young boy dies. Women in the street are drunk, fight and demand sex. Maksim, a schoolboy, makes his way through this urban hell. His only retreat is into a private world moulded by himself, out of which springs a final act of reckless courage.

'Watching this impressive and disturbing howl of a play by the young Russian writer, Vassily Sigarev, is like taking a walk through a rough, druggy London scene after closing time... it has flashes of almost comic grotesquery, vividly communicates an alarming sense of contemporary urban Russia on the verge of anarchy and breakdown' - Evening Standard

'This extraordinary play lasts only 75 minutes, but watching Dominic Cooke's brilliant production you feel you have been to hell and back. Plasticine offers a nightmarish trip to the lower depths of contemporary Russia, and the sheer power of the staging leaves you reeling' - Daily Telegraph

Aug 4, 2016

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Plasticine (NHB Modern Plays) - Vassily Sigarev


Plasticine was first performed at Bristol Old Vic on 10 September 2012. The cast was as follows:

All other roles played by members of the company.

It has passed

The roses are dead

Their petals float down

Why did I dream of roses

All the time

We hunted them together

We hunted out the roses . . .

. . . It has passed and the roses are forgotten.

Dino Campana



LYOKHA (Alexei Vassiliev)



SCHOOLTEACHER (Ludmila Ivanovna)


HEADMASTER (Oleg Petrovich)







SHE, HER (Tanya)



He sits on the floor in a room which is bare, apart from a table, a bed and a carpet hanging on the wall. His fingers are working plasticine into a strange shape. He finishes and puts the strange thing he has created in a bowl of glutinous dirty-white mixture. Then he takes the lead plates out of a car battery and bangs them on the edge of the bed to knock the residue off them, breaks them into pieces and puts them in a pan. He fetches a small hob with a bare element, places the pan on the hob and turns the hob on. He takes the bowl and touches its contents with his hand: it is as hard as stone. He scrapes out the plasticine. He looks into the pan – a small lead-coloured pool of liquid reflects his face and a white pin of light from the lampshade on the ceiling. He takes the pan and pours the lead into the bowl. The remains of the plasticine hiss, catching light, and flare up. Smoke rises to the ceiling and goes in his eyes. The tears well up. He turns away, but the tears continue to roll down his nose and then down to the corners of his mouth. Now he is actually crying. He is sobbing.

Crying as if he knew something . . .

The bowl cracks . . .


The entrance hall of a shabby five-storey block of flats. MAKSIM climbs up the stairs to the fourth floor. People pass him on the way up. They are silent, their faces empty. The stairway comes to an end. There is a door in front of MAKSIM. It is open; a felt boot stuffed in the crack keeps it ajar. There is a mirror hanging inside opposite the door. A red plush tablecloth with a fringe hangs over it, covering it. MAKSIM stops by the mirror and looks at it. The tablecloth suddenly falls to the floor and MAKSIM sees his own reflection in the mirror. He looks at it in amazement as if he was looking at it for the first time.

Someone touches him on the shoulder. MAKSIM turns around and sees a WOMAN in a black shawl.

WOMAN. What you do that for? You shouldn’t have. Are you a schoolmate of his?

MAKSIM nods.

Go on through . . .

MAKSIM goes into the main room. It is full of people. In the middle of the room there is a coffin with its lid on. MAKSIM stands behind TWO OLD WOMEN. He stands on tiptoe, trying to look at the coffin.

FIRST OLD WOMAN. Hey – don’t push!

MAKSIM. You what?

FIRST OLD WOMAN. Get out of it.

MAKSIM looks at her in bewilderment.

I said get out of it.

MAKSIM. But I . .

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  • (3/5)
    I thought Plasticine was wonderful at evoking images - the stage directions are incredibly beautiful, and some of the strongest points of the play rest on them. However, I did get tired of the constant struggles towards the end - basically, the entire plot of the play is just a recount of the horrible things that happen to Maksim. It is very wearing, and the general effect is almost more comical than poignant.