Russia Theatre Drama King Maxemian and his Disobedient Son Adolf

King Maxemian and his Disobedient Son Adolf

The Russian folk drama King Maxemian and his Disobedient Son Adolf (in other versions, King Maximilian) was extremely popular in the 1910s. There were hundreds of different variants of the play, which dates back to the second half of the eighteenth century. In January 1911, Mikhail Bonch-Tomashevsky staged the drama in St Petersburg in sets designed by members of the Union of Youth. This was the first attempt to introduce avant-garde art into the theatre. Vladimir Tatlin was invited to design the sets when the show moved to Moscow later that year. The performance included scenes from a traditional puppet show and popular romances and ditties. The principle of improvisation gave an added impulse to the theatrical experiment. Tatlin did not simply transfer lubok onto the stage; for the first time in the history of avant-garde theatre, he designed constructed sets. The show premiered at the Moscow Circle of Literature and Art on 15 Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street on 6 November 1911 and was only performed four times.

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