Dimitry Devdariani - Theatre Director

Dimitry Devdariani
theatre director

Dimitry Devdariani theatre director
Dimitry Devdariani theatre director

The Marriage by Nikolai Gogol

Nostalgia or Queen of Laughter

By Nadeszda Teffi
Performed in Russian with English subtitles

Nadeszda Teffi (real name Lokhvitskaya) was known as the Queen of Laughter and her short stories and plays were extremely popular in the early 20th century Imperial Russia. She was a favorite writer of Tsar Nikolai the Second and often was invited to his palace. Teffi belonged to the old aristocratic family, whose seat was in the town of Tikhvin (near St.Petersburg). Her sister, Mirra Lokhvitskaya, was a well-known poet.

In her life, Nadeszda Teffi met many extraordinary people. One of them was the infamous Gregory Rasputin. Their encounters are depicted by Teffi in one of her books.

Russian Classics Theatre presents Nostalgia by Nadeszda Teffi The great Russian Revolution of 1917 split Nadeszda's life in half. She left her country, never to return. She could never accept Bolshevism and the changes it brought, so she settled in Paris. Perhaps that's why her humour became tinted with light sadness. She was often compared to Chekhov and possibly exactly for that reason.

Now Teffi's work is slowly but surely coming back to the wider reader and audiences.

With the great help of Teffi Cultural Centre in the town of Tikhvin, our troupe was able to create this project. The Tea House Theatre provided an elegant and somewhat nostalgic setting for the show. Everyone was working with enthusiasm and interest. We hope to play this show many times again, so we can laugh and cry with the unforgettable characters of Nadeszda Teffi.

The cast: Lubov Parkins, Janetta Rajevskaja, Leo Kara, Olga Zakharevskaya, Arina Bokova, Artur Valitov, Oleg Dszabrailov, Natasha Hirom, Lina Kruchkova.

Written by Nadeszda Teffi
Directed by Dimitry Devdariani
Performed by Russian Classics Theatre London
at the Tea House Theatre
139 Vauxhall Walk, London, SE11 5HL

Click image to enlarge
Nostalgia Nostalgia Nostalgia Nostalgia Nostalgia Nostalgia
Nostalgia Nostalgia Nostalgia Nostalgia Nostalgia Nostalgia
Photos courtesy of Bashir Burlakov and Anton Chesnokov
Audience feedback
The performance enjoyed a wonderful reception from the audience and a spectator was kind enough to put her thoughts in writing:

It wouldn't be enough to say that I liked this new production by Russian Classics Theatre, based on short stories by Nadeszda Teffi (director Dimitry Devdariani). I believed it to be extremely good and it's not an exaggeration. A rich spectrum of scenic techniques and methods, that included elements of grotesque, burlesque, underlined artificiality and extravagant mannerisms were used to assist the talented troupe to convey the complexity of the presented text. Mentioned here techniques equally helped the audience to truly hear and see hidden paradoxes and various layers of meaning woven by the early 20th century Queen of Laughter into her stories.

The show seemed very fast-paced, well thought through and joyful, despite the fact that it was put together in a very short period of time. I believe that it was made possible due to an experienced and deep director, who made sure that he and the cast remained on the same wavelength throughout the whole process.

I don't wish to elaborate any further, or else I'd be facing a risk of looking rather like one of the journalist characters ridiculed in the show. I will only say that I highly recommend this production. Be quick not to miss it!

Larissa Volkova

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Dimitry Devdariani theatre director
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Dimitry Devdariani theatre director