by Shelagh Delaney
In a interpretation of N.Abdurakhmanov this is a show about a talent of people, about their disobedience to laws of common life, which force a person to resign to his existence. The show is not so about poverty or about social inequality – it’s lying on a surface of the play, but about a skill, a talent to gift a joy, make a holiday of own presence - even small - and find a cause for it.
Directed by – Honored Worker of Arts of Uzbekistan NABI ABDURAKHMANOV
Set designers – TIMUR BEKMAMBETOV (Russia), DMITRIY MOKHOV (Belorussia)
Musical design and arrangement –
MICHAEL ROSENBLUM (Israel)
Costume designer – VASSA VASILEVA
Choreographer – ANNA TRENINA
Musical compositions of “Beatles” and the song, performed by Nina Simone were also used in the production.
Duration – 3 hours and 30 minutes, intermission included.
Premiere in “Dard” Theatre-Studio took place in February, 1989.
Renewed production premiered on September 20, 2014.
The show is a witty, genuinely funny, inspiringly sad and truly sincere - it tells the story of human relationships, kindness, inner fortitude, a faith in own power, an ability not only to stand against the most desperate situations, but to shout to the whole world:
“As I was going up Pippen Hill,
Pippen Hill was dirty;
There I met a pretty Miss,
And she dropped me a curtsy.
Little Miss, pretty Miss,
Blessings light upon you;
If I had half-a-crown a day,
I'd spend it all upon you.”
The cast includes actors of the theatre as well as students of the School-Studio of Dramatic Arts of the Youth Theatre of Uzbekistan.
Shelagh Delany (1938-2011) was an English play- and screenwriter, known for her debut play “A Taste of Honey”.
Once in brave-old England there lived a young 18-years-old girl named Shelagh Delaney. It happened that she went to see the play by Terrence Rattigan “Variations of a Theme” and after leaving the theatre she exclaimed: “I can do no worse!” Friends replied: “There you go, then!”. And in a span of 10 days she penned one of the most famous plays of the 20th century “A Taste of Honey”, which is staged regularly since 1958 all around the world and was adapted as a motion picture in 1961.
I must say thank-you-so-much to Elena Anatolyevna Gershberg, who’d give us a course lecture on “Modern Western Dramaturgy” and made us fall in love with the stream of the literature, created by the “pleiad of angries”.
In February of 1989 “A Taste of Honey” premiered on the stage of the Theatre-Studio “Dard” and was performed by an immense cast, which included Kamilla Kerimova, Victoria Falkovich, Valery Kudashkin, Aleksey Mel’nikov, Timur Kabulov. But it is on a stage of the Youth Theatre of Uzbekistan that the production went through remakes and new characters were introduced – so-called “guides” – modern youngsters, who are desperate to build up this life right upon the stage and comprehend it in the same way, just like the main characters of the story. This version of the play was initially included into the repertoire of the theatre on July 27, 1993. The production used the elements of sets, designed by T. Bekmambetov, which he’d crafted at the times of his work in “Dard” Theatre-Studio, whereas Shukhrat Tokhtasimov fulfilled duties of a choreographer.
This production has become one of the first evidences of Nabi Abdurakhmanov’s unique author’s styling and his exquisitely peculiar way of directing. The director’s passionate desires - comprehending the characters’ deep inner motives, determining their actions and purposes outside their usual life, achieving sublime artistic heights, formulating behavioral motives as a way of their wish to arrange a life on a large scale – are his constant principles of work, which were discovered during rehearsals of “A Taste of Honey” and were further developed in his later works.
In Abdurakhmanov’s interpretation it is a story of richly talented individuals and nonconformity toward established rules that force a person put up with his existence. The show is not as much about poverty or social inequality – it all lays on the surface – but about the ability of giving joy to your close ones and celebrating life as it is – even if there ain’t many reasons for it. For all the characters of the show life itself have become the main scene partner, an opponent and a direction for implying their actions. It’s an action of an recklessness – craziness – despite everything never letting yourself hand down a head and make up your own Life!