Back in U.S.S.R. follows three Soviet girls through the eyes of a German journalist who is in the former Soviet
Union to collect material for a video archive. The three heroines appear in two time bands: today and yesterday.
Their reminiscences, which form separate scenes, are integrated into the intensive action taking place on stage, and the audience members remember their own pasts together with the actresses, comparing their childhood experiences with those of the characters. The production works with the higher logic of stage art: there are no clear conflicts, detailed dialogues or straightforward scenes here. Instead, visual associations, together with plastic and musical associations, unite the protagonists and audience in a common place of action.
‘May God protect you from living in a time of change,’ said Confucius. This production depicts generations that are unique in having lived under both socialism and capitalism. There will never be such a generation again. ART&SHOCK’s actors have tried to get to grips with this phenomenon. The destinies of three girls who grew up in the era of the Soviet Union, with all its positives and negatives. Plus a fourth destiny – that of a woman chronicling the past from the unclear perspective of today. What are the Young Pioneers and the Soviet Union of Youth members doing now? The generation of Back in U.S.S.R. sees itself as no better and no worse than it was thought to be. It was simply another generation. And yet we have lost something during those fifteen mad years, something important…
(by Y. Devyatlin, Vremya)
About the ART&SHOCK Theatre:
ART&SHOCK Theatre is the most extreme, most eccentric and also the first independent theatre group in Kazakhstan. In 2001 six professional actors started to experiment in a search for a new kind of theatre that would take risks and surprise audiences with shocking and unexpected performances. Physical theatre, street theatre and brilliantly executed technical improvisation allows ART&SHOCK to cross language, social and age boundaries. The artistic credo of the Kazakh company ART&SHOCK is ‘Transforming life into theatre.’ The group has appeared at theatre festivals in Armenia, Denmark, Finland, Romania, Russia, Britain and elsewhere.