Valery Fokin, photo Valery Plotnikov

Valery Fokin



​Masquerade: Recollections of the Future is a scenic composition which brings together the experiences of Vsevolod Meyerhold’s legendary 1917 production at the Alexandrinsky Theatre. The title, which contains an intentional logical error, describes the main theme of the show: the tying together of the past and the present, the confluence of images from the centuries past and the present. As the director strives for maximum precision while maintaining the multidimensional nature of the images and compositional principles of the legendary piece, the audience can take a journey into the future. To enable this, a space was created, in which a unique collection of theatre costumes and mock-ups from 1917, reconstructed from Aleksandr Golovin’s sketches, were given a new life. The creators of the new version, however, did not try to create an exact reconstruction of Meyerhold’s score. They have retained four out of the ten tableaux found in Lermontov’s drama and the 1917 production, choosing scenes whose dramatic content is relevant to the present era. Valery Fokin’s piece combines the study of a great production from the past with an extensive exploration of quotidian life. Masquerade: Recollections of the Future owes its scenic form, costumes, music and mise-en-scène to Meyerhold’s 1917 Masquerade.

  • Alexandrinsky Theatre
  • Author of the text — Mikhail Lermontov
  • Director — Valery Fokin
  • Stage texts — Alexander Chepurov (historical and documentary reconstruction)
  • Texts included in the performance — Vladimir Antipov
  • Performers — Vasilisa Alekseeva, Ivan Efremov, Sergei Elikov, Olga Gilvanova, Galina Karelina, Iosif Koshelevich, Irina Lepeshenkova, Dmitrii Lysenkov, Nikolai Marton, Vadim Nikitin, Petr Semak, Viktor Shuralev, Sergei Sidorenko, Polina Teplyakova, Elena Vozhakina
  • Masks — Margarita Abroskina, Filipp Baiandin, Mikita Barsukov, Nikolai Belin, Dmitrii Belov, Aleksei Frolov, Andrei Marusin, Andrei Matiukov, Aliaksandr Mickievič, Oksana Obukhovich, Sofia Shustrova, Sergei Sidorenko, Olesia Sokolova, Valerii Stepanov, Elena Zimina
  • Choir ― Gulnara Giliazova, Maksim Iakovlev, Ilia Malafei, Vladimir Malikov, Anton Moskalev, Varvara Nikitina, Olga Nikolaeva, Marianna Ovchintseva, Andrei Timoshevskii, Oksana Unezhskaia
  • Yulia Korpacheva performs Nina’s lyrical song from Mikhail Lermontov’s drama Masquerade (written by Alexander Glazunov).
  • Director's assistant, musical director ― Ivan Blagoder
  • Assistant artist ― Georgy Pashin
  • Director's assistant ― Elena Borunova
  • Stage design — Simon Pastukh

  • Music — Alexander Bakshi
  • The performance includes excerpts from Alexander Glazunov’s musical score for Vsevolod Meyerhold’s performance and Waltz-Fantasia by Mikhail Glinka.
  • Costumes — Nika Velegzhaninova
  • Lighting — Damir Ismagilov
  • Choreography — Igor Kachaev 

  • Tour manager — Daria Zhivotova
  • Premiere — 19 September 2014
  • In Fokin’s production, ‘masks are torn off’ exposing the masks beneath. They no longer beguile, deceive, threaten, exude deprivation or dance, but continue to overwhelm and cause unease with their presence. The great success of the Alexandrinsky Theatre is that it can successfully combine the new with the old – when Golovin’s 100-year-old costumes are brought back to life onstage against the stylised set designed by Semyon Pastukh, all the ominous voices thundering from above, which echo Lermontov’s masks’ warnings of impending doom, are just a continuation of the games played.

    Liliya Shitenburg | Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti

  • In Meyerhold’s production, glaring at the audience from the stage was the past that carried the last breath of an empire. In Fokin’s staging, the focus is on the present and on its criminal carnival of evil. The themes that pervade Fokin’s work are: the masquerade of existence, its deceptive nature and duality.

    Marina Tokaryeva | Novaya Gazeta

  • The Alexandrinsky Theatre’s Masquerade will appeal to an educated audience who will take up the invitation to solve theatrical charades and who, crucially, like to use their imagination, the most important requirement for anyone who wants to enter this world of memories past and future.

    Svetlana Novorshikova | Izvestia


Date and hour

18 October
19 October


Running time

120 minutes (with one intermission)




English and Polish

Other details

Only suitable for ages 16+