Ice – Vladimir Sorokin (1955) is the scandalous hero of contemporary Russian literature, a literary loner, theoretically assigned to the Russian literary conceptualism and soc-art movement. He is fascinated by pictures of a utopian world that unfolds between extreme brutality and poetry. This dramatisation of Sorokin's fantasy novel Ice, about a strange elite brotherhood in contemporary Moscow, includes a number of erotic and violent scenes, staged with uncommon openness. They do not come across as gratuitous, however, but point to the obscurity of current Russian reality, building up a grotesque parable of the search for the meaning of life in a country whose past and present appear meaningless.
The music, drawing on that of the station A+, provides the tempo, and the easily understandable lyrics of the truly varied soundtracks (mostly in English) remove any possibility that we are watching a simple transcript of a post-Soviet Russian play. Ice speaks an international language (or languages).It is a universal drama of the personal and social spheres in which relationships have frozen and petrified, a vision of humanity approaching an ice age.
Tamás Tarján, www.kultura.hu
All the components of the production are on a high level, from the direction to the set design and music. Nevertheless, it is the performances, fascinating and unique, that are the main thing (...) they are created with courage and a coarseness that might seem unimaginable for a National Theatre – if the actors were not recruited from the internationally-famous group Krétakör, which has co-produced the production.
(...) It is only the closing events that miraculously clarify the meaning of all that has gone before. Not because they are astounding, but because they elucidate our previously misty impression gained from a history pieced together from strips. This history, the direct result of which is today's cynicism, was the subject of a report in the first half, but only now is that report consolidated in all its length and difficulty. It is as if the first part were an examination that we, the audience, have had to undergo in order that, once cleansed, we may be initiated into the logic of the way of the world.
Jiří Adámek, Svět a divadlo
About the director of the play "Ice": Kornél Mundruczó (b. 1975) – Graduated from the Budapest Film and Drama Academy as an actor in 1998 and as a film and television director in 2003. His first feature film, Pleasant Days, won the Silver Leopard at the Locarno Film festival in 2002. Johanna was selected for the Un Certain Regard section in the Cannes festival 2005 and Delta won the Prix de la Critique in Cannes 2008. Mundruczó began his work in theatre with the famous company Krétakör. Although he has never had his own company, he often collaborates with the same group of actors and they have become creative partners in his productions. His recent work includes Ice, Frankenstein Project (Bárka Theatre, Budapest 2007), Eszter Solymosi of Tiszaeszlár (Schauspiel Hannover, Germany 2010)and Die Zeit der Besessenen (Thalia Theatre, Hamburg, Germany 2011).