Premiere date 13 February 2016
Duration 2 hours 30 minutes with intermission

For a number of years now, the Montague and Capulet families have been at enmity. Unity is forever lost. Pride, arrogance, superiority and, as a result, fear were born. Children no longer understand and accept their parents. Romeo neither communicates with his parents, nor sleeps at home, while preferring to share all of his struggles only with Brother Lorenzio. He does not accept hostility and feels that his end is sealed. Romeo’s soul discovers that his parents de-energized it with their hatred, having spent all their energy on enmity.
Romeo sees the prophetic dreams, which he does not reveal to us, yet mentions in the dialogue with Mercutio. This allusion to dreams serves as the birth of a new character in the play – Queen Mab. An otherworldly force, a fairy of dreams and imagination, who gained the strength in the real world to restore order in the hearts and souls of the inhabitants of Verona to some extent. It is neither good nor evil – it is the fruit of those feelings and emotions that prevail in Verona. And since these feelings are impartial (the enmity of a family that has lost its meaning), then this tangle has to be unwound, sacrificing the most precious – children. Enmity is cleansed by Love.
These thoughts, up to a point, make us ponder when the war in Ukraine will end.
The Capulets and Montagues no longer remember the reasons for the strife, for them it is no longer important, because aggressive emotion deprives them of the opportunity to think and analyze actions. Awareness and emergence comes only around dead children. Through their suffering, Romeo and Juliet atoned for the guilt of their parents. Fate has punished the Montagues and Capulets through the most expensive thing ever possible – their children.
In our performance, Queen Mab appears as Fate, which is inevitably connected with Romeo and Juliet to death. She introduces them at the ball, infecting Romeo and Juliet with a passion that makes it impossible for them to consistently reflect and analyze. He whispers to Brother Lorenzio about the need for a secret wedding, as an opportunity to reconcile the warring parties. And the minister of the church takes this step, bewitched by the spell of Mab. We deliberately chose the role of Brother Lorenzio for the young actor, in order to enhance the strength of moral prejudice, the ability to follow a bright feeling, a willingness to empathize and, to some extent, adventurism. After all, everything is the will of God. And the will of God is the implementation of this plan as well.
Certainly, the curse of Mercutio does not leave at peace the living ones. The spirit of Mercutio comes to Lorenzio in the form of Giovanni (he is already in the service of Queen Mab) and returns the letter, which he does not hand over. The letter burns in the hands of Mercutio-Giovanni, as a symbol of an opportunity that is lost forever.
We did not have the task of illustrating a dramatic work, we did not try to renew life. The main goal of our performance is to reveal the core of what is happening in Ukraine now through the theatrical art. Why war happens, and what we have to sacrifice, gradually gaining peace. And the answer which Shakespeare gives us is absolutely frightening, because more than one generation will pay for the accumulated aggression and disunity.
In the performance, we began to express not everyday sensations and emotional irritation but what is hidden behind them. To make the audience get a large number of associations. (“The method of transformation is therefore called a transformation that does not create the illusion of reality, but thus reproduces the action on stage, in such a way, in a transformation that causes the greatest number of associative processes and thus activates the understanding of the play. Transformation is a figurative allegory, sometimes a metaphor, it is a figurative expression of the essence of the concept, actions by means of theatrical art “[Kurbas L.,” Berezil “and the question of texture.” – IMFE, f.42.folder 5]). We were engaged in “re-creation” of Shakespeare’s play, its creative rethinking. And the new perspective of the play gives rise to new metaphors, comparisons, symbols and signs.
Our performance combines several eras. The modern text of Shakespeare allows you to transfer actions in any timeframe. Thanks to this, the performance becomes mysterious. The past happened in the form of today. The decorations – Capulet’s house – are covered with notes – a plea for love, which is sent to Juliet. Only Romeo and Juliet can decode this energy of love.
In the beginning of the play the costumes of characters allow the viewer to get transported to the 30s of the last century in America or the post-war years in Italy, drawing parallels with the mafia clash of clans. And this aggression releases an otherworldly force (Queen Mab), that gets out of ​​​​the crypt (the world of death). She is the core of the whole show. The Queen Mabeth imagery expands the dynamics of the performance and actively affects the psyche and emotions. At the end of the performance, Queen Mab crowns Romeo and Juliet in heaven, uniting their souls forever.
The costumes of the characters unite several eras, hinting that a person does not change in essence, enmity has the same roots as always and the only thing that will save humanity is Love and the realization that we are connected. Doesn’t it remind us of Kurbasovoye “… To transform the rough into the subtle, to cast light into the dark consciousness, to transform the psychological space of the human mass, taking advantage of the change of internal rhythmic structures, to bring the idea of ​​Unity into the tired mass consciousness?”.
Tempo, rhythm and expression in our performance are very important. The change of scenes, editing, the rhythm with which this or that text is pronounced directly affects the perception of the viewer and thus we achieve the desired result. The Nurse’s tongue twisters, Lady Capulet’s grandiloquence, the monotony and tranquility of Brother Lorenzio, the exaltation and emotionality of Romeo and Juliet come into conflict with each other, creating the tempo of the performance. Les Kurbas generally paid great attention to the feeling of rhythm. He taught that each phenomenon can be perceived in different rhythms, that each fact in relation to another has its own objective rhythm, the emphasis characteristic of this fact. “Rhythm must permeate the work as a whole and each of its parts both in time and space” (Kurbas Les: Memoirs of Contemporaries. – K. – 1969. – 359 p.) “… When the actor goes deeper, he concentrates on the moment in a certain rhythm, he must find higher symbols for that, the symbols given by the artist, that is, two strokes of the whole figure … And it is typical that the most primitive art found in caves is characterized by the same thing: the creative process and proper symbol; and vice versa, in the greatest epochs the same thing happens – a long way is done until you find the symbol “(Les Kurbas. Actor in our system and work on the role // Les Kurbas:” Berezil “. – K. – 1988.- 518p.). After all, gesture and sound, not literature, are the main means of theater. And exactly tempo and rhythm are pursued in a gesture and a sound.
Examples of Kurbasov’s “transformation” in our performance.
In the scene where Mercutio describes Tybalt, with his gesture he hints at the fascist tendency in the image of the enemy, and the terminology of the fencers gives grounds for drawing parallels (“хай” with a characteristic gesture), even if it is a rethinking (“transformation”) that lasts for a second. The scene at the ball, when Lord Capulet and his retinue greet the guests, takes us to the “ball of Satan” in Bulgakov’s “The Master and Margarita”. And the scene when Juliet is preparing for her wedding night resembles a scene from Kuprin’s Shulamith, where Solomon’s last love, Shulamith, anoints her body with oils, waiting for her lover. Or in the scene when Juliet decides to take poison, the fabric that is designed for sewing a wedding dress turns into wings that carry her to meet her lover, and then these wings turn into a shroud. Through mise-en-scène re-creations there is an associative layering happening, mythologization of the work. And this becomes possible with the help of theatrical language.
Thanks to the figurative rethinking of Shakespeare’s tragedy in the language of the theater, the events taking place in the play acquire a more complicated figurative meaning when “… Everyday life in some scenes grows to entitity” (Kornienko N. Les Kurbas: rehearsal of the future. – K: Lybid, 2007. – 238p.).

All these examples emphasize the inseparability of our search for imagery in the play from the search of Les Kurbas himself. And we continue to experiment, assuming that the principle of Kurbasov’s “transformation” is not a dead system that has already been formed and drives it into a certain framework. This is a real opportunity to find a new language, new symbols in the theater of the 21st century. And to develop those directions that Les Kurbas outlined at the beginning of the 20th century.


Светлана Лебедева, Владислав Лебедев


Наталья Пэтэн-Ступакова


Евгений Славинский


Дарья Лебедева

Лорд Капулетти

Д. Московцев

Кормилица Джульетты

И. Крейс


А. Блинов


А. Воротников

Леди Капулетти

М. Ятченко-Матюха

Отец Лоренцио

А. Рудык

Князь Эскал

В. Лебедев


Д. Люберанский

Лорд Монтекки

Андрей Скляр

Леди Мантекки

Н. Настека

Слуги и феи

В. Чуйков, И. Остривной, Е.Долинная, А.Примак, М.Яровая

Клип к 1 действию
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Вступительные слова перед спектаклем от В. Лебедева и Д. Зусмановича
Тизер к трагедии
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