2006 Moscow, Russia
More than just a play, this production of Elizabeth Bam is a rescue mission to save two treasures of Russian avant-garde from obscurity 2005 marked the 100th anniversary of writer and philosopher Daniil Kharms’ birth, yet Russia seems to have forgotten that he ever existed. Elizabeth bam, Kharms’ remarkable contribution to Russian theatre, prefigures the atmosphere of both Kafka’s stories and Ionesco’s theatre of the absurd. It tells the story of a woman arrested for a murder not yet committed, mixing slapstick with pantomime and horror with humor. The production was designed to be performed at another forgotten avant-garde masterpiece – the now-derelict Narkomfin house, built by constructivist architect Moses Ginzburg in 1929, the same year as Kharms wrote the play. It was premiered in Moscow in July 2006 a riveting piece of theatre with innovative costume, set and lighting design, started in a building ahead of its time, Elizabeth Bam exposed the avant-garde roots of contemporary Russian culture. The play was adapted to be presented in London, on 7-8 February 200/8 at theatro Tecnis, as a part of Russian act. no. 4, and in conjunction with the opening of the retrospective photography exhibition of another hero of Russian avant-garde, alexander Rodchenko at the Hayward.