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Akimov State Academic Comedy Theatre

Established in 1926 as the Theater of Satire, re-organised and renamed in 1935. The troupe has always been very talented, and the theater noteworthy for its ingenious performances. In 1989 the theatre has been renamed after its founder and first artistic director N.P. Akimov, who has made the theatre famous by his original comedy plays. There are also many famous lyrical and comical actors in today's troupe. The auditorium has been built in 1901-1903 by the architect G.V. Baranovsky as a part of the Eliseyev Trade House ensemble. The FarsÅ theatre has been located here prior to the revolution. Akimov's Theatre can hold up to 883 persons. Historical Reference October 1, 1929 is considered the official date of the theatre's foundation. On this date a play by V. Shkvarkin titled "The Cheater" has premiered, staged by the director D. Gutman with the participation of L. Utesov's jazz theatre. Although the first years of the theatre's existence have not left a significant mark in its biography due to rapid changes of leadership figures and the uncertainty of their artistic principles, they have had some positive effect on the development of the modern comedy repertory. During that period plays like "The Squaring of the Circle", "The Supermarket", "The Flower Road" by V. Katayev, "A Republic on Wheels" by A. Mamontov, "The Cheater" and "Strangers' Child" by V. Shkvarkin, "Miracle Alloy" by V. Kirshon, "Six Loved Ones" by A. Arbuzov have been staged. The theatre's aesthetic program has begun to form in 1935, when it was headed by the young N. Akimov, already well-known for his works. He has united around himself a circle of actors with common aesthetic views, including E. Volkova, L. Sukharevskaya, T. Chokoi, Zh. Letsky, G. Florinsky, I. Gosheva, I. Zarubina, Yu. Lavrov, S. Filippov, I. Hansel, V. Balabina, E. Junger, A. Bondi, E. Garin, L. Kolesov, L. Krovitsky, O. Porodulenskaya, A. Savostianov, P. Sukhanov, B. Tenin and others. During the 1940's the troupe has been complemented by V. Uskov, K. Zlobin, L. Lyulko, E. Uvarova, T. Sezenevskaya and V. Trukhanov. N.P. Akimov has attracted talented directors to work in the theatre. The co-operation with G. Kozintsev, S. Yutkevich, N. Rashevskaya, A. Remezova and E. Garin has greatly contributed to the young theatre's success. The young troupe has developed a distinctive style during its first decade of work. Creative ties were developed with the translator M. Lozinsky and the playwright E. Schwartz. M. Lozinsky has translated the great drama classics "A Dog in Hay" (1936) and "The Widow of Valencia" (1939) by Lope de Vega, "A School of Slander" by R. Sheridan (1937), and "Twelfth Night" by Shakespeare (1937) especially for this theatre. The play titled "Shadow" by E. Schwartz has created a new genre on the theatre's stage: the philosophical fairy tale for grown-ups. World War II has ruined all of the theatre's creative plans. 30 workers have gone to the front. Those who have remained in the besieged city continued performing until the winter of 1941. In December the theatre was evacuated to the Caucasus, and then to Central Asia. During the war the theatre has staged 16 new plays and renewed 14 old ones. The troupe has returned to Leningrad in 1945. Some of the theatre's plays became classics of the Russian stage, such as N.P. Akimov's "Shadow" (1940, 1960), "The Dragon" (1944, 1962) and "A Regular Miracle" (1956) by E. Schwartz, "The Case" (1964) and "Krechinsky's Marriage" (1966) by A. Sukhov-Kobylin, "Spring Waters" (1958) by I. Turgenev, "Diverse Short Stories" (1959) by Chekhov, "Don Giovanni" (1963) by Bairon. Plays like Bernard Shaw's "Mrs. Warren's Profession", A. Casona's "Trees Die While Standing", E.M. Remarque's "Last Stop", Eduardo de Filippo's "Ghosts" and "The Cylinder", D. Kealty's "The Charming Cheater" and F. Durrenmatt's "The Physicists" were among the theatre's world drama repertory. Following Akimov's death in 1968, V.S. Golikov has been appointed the theatre's chief director. He has staged "The Stepanchikovo Village and Its Inhabitants" based on Dostoyevsky, "The Co-workers" by E. Braginsky and E. Ryazanov, "A Cart of Apples" by B. Shaw, "A Small Window to a Great Ocean" based on R. Gamzatov and "The Burning Heart" by A. Ostrovsky, marking a beginning of a search for new creative directions. Since 1977 until 1981 the theatre has been headed by P.N. Fomenko. "The Dear Old House" by A. Arbuzov, "The Old New Year" by M. Roschin, "The Muse" by G. Nikitin and "Terkin - Terkin" by A. Tvardovsky are among his best plays. The theatre has subsequently been headed by Yu. Aksenov and D. Astrakhan. Since 1995 Tatyana Kazakova has been the artistic director of Akimov's theatre. She is a graduate of the State Theatre Institute's Directing Faculty and a pupil of the great Russian director Anatoly Efros. Tatyana Kazakova is one of St. Petersburg's most brilliant directors. The theatre's creative distinctiveness, complemented by its serious treatment of Russian drama traditions, has allowed it to create clear masterpieces of style, marked by graphic imagery and sparkling expressiveness, profound meaning and musicality. T. Kazakova's artistic world is not centered on contemporary social issues, it lacks any destructiveness or aggression. Her interest is in the life and transformations of the human soul. T. Kazakova's plays have won her wide recognition among critics and viewers. Plays Staged by Tatyana Kazakova: 1988 "How an Old Man Left an Old Woman" by S. Zlotnikova, the Youth Theatre; 1989 "Humble Graveyard" by V. Kaledin, the Youth Theatre; 1991 "As You Like It" by Shakespeare, the Baltic House Theatre; 1992 "Mr. Freud's Carousel" by A. Shnitzler, the Lensoviet Theatre; 1993 "Napoleon the First" by F. Bruckner, a remake of a play by A. Efros, Moskovsky Theatre, Moscow; 1995 "The Mad Ones" by C. Goldoni, the Open Theatre, awarded the "Best Play of the Year" prize; 1996 "The Difficult People" by J. Bar-Josef, the Comedy Theatre, awarded the Golden Sophite prizes for best directing and best male role; 1996 "A Klavier for Beginners" ("Shadows") by M. Saltykov-Schedrin, the Comedy Theatre.

Address:56, Nevsky Prospect
Subway (Metro):Gostinny Dvor (Browse map)
Tel:+ 7 (812) 312 4555
Fax:+ 7 (812) 312 4555

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