Vasilij Vladimirovič Sigarev
First Slovenian production
18 May 2007
The young Russian playwright Vassily Sigarev (1977) is one of Russia’s most prolific and frequently produced authors. He has written eighteen plays, which have been performed all over the world. He has received numerous awards, including the Russian Anti-Booker Prize (2000) and the London Evening Standard Award for most promising playwright (2002, first non-English play awarded) for his play Plasticine, which made him a star of contemporary theatre.
Sigarev comes from the Ural part of Russia, which was cruelly affected by the collapse of the former Soviet Union, experiencing both impoverishment and the feeling of being lost in the newly-acquired freedom—a freedom in which former values are replaced predominantly by lust for material goods and a stupor that helps efface the inexorable reality of new capitalism and the gap between the poor and the rich.
Ahasuerus is an ironic family play. A son returns home after seven years in prison. His family celebrates his return but the party soon turns into the opposite of a celebration. The family’s alienated members communicate solely through hatred and contempt. Their language is poisonous and vulgar and their only goal is alcoholic oblivion. Andrei, who in prison had dreamt nostalgically of the beautiful moments of his childhood, can no longer recognize his family members. When the angry family throws him out, he robs a shop, in order to buy their affection with what he has stolen. But the police are quickly after him and another imprisonment is imminent. He tries to hang himself in the toilet to escape the police but is discovered at the last moment. There is no redemption for him: like the Wandering Jew Ahasuerus, Andrei is condemned to an eternal and tormented life.