Roman Viktyuk

Merited master of the Arts of the Russian Federation, People’s Artist of Ukraine, People’s Artist of the Russian FederationHe was born on 28 October 1936 in Lvov (Ukraine) in the family of actors- puppeteers.On graduation of the drama department of the GITIS (now – the Russian University of Theatre Arts) in 1956 he worked in the Young Generation Theatre named after M.Gorkiy in Lvov, staged such performances as “Everything Is Not That Easy”, “When the Moon Rises”, “Factory Girl”, “The City Without Love”, “Don Juan” and discovered a taste for unusual interpretations of plays.In 1971 he worked as a staged director in the Lithuanian Russian drama theatre (Vilnius)He staged such performances as “Duck hunt” and “Last Summer in Tchulimsk” by A.V. Vampilov, “Mary Stuart” by F. Schiller, “Valentine and Valentina” by M.M. Roshchina, “Love is a Golden Book”, “Meetings and Partings”, “Rain Seller”, etc.He always followed the original text, he staged his performances uncut.Viktyuk’s creative work was taken by the theatre management with difficulty. His performance “Music Lessons” staged in the MSU Students’ Theatre in 1978 was banned. In 1975 in the Mossovet Theatre Viktyuk staged “The Evening Light” by A.N.Arbuzov, in 1977 “The Tsar’s Hunt” by L.G. Zorin; in the Moscow Art Theatre – “A Husband and A Wife Will Rent A Room” by Roshchin (1976) and “The Tattooed Rose” by T.Williams (1982).Roman Viktiuk Theatre opened with the performance “M. Butterfly” based on the D.G. Juan’s play, which integrated actors from different theatres who had similar outlook to the director. The performance based on the play “Rogatka” by N.V. Kolyada (art director – V.Boyer) where Viktyuk worked with American Broadway actors (in the Russian version of “Rogatka” played Makovetskiy), he raised the issues of loneliness, anguish and spiritual search.Aestheticism, refined taste and spiritual philosophy characterize his creative work (“The Maids” by Jean Genet, “Lolita” by Edward Albee based on V.V. Nabokov, both in 1922).With his performances the director sets an ultimate priority: a search for harmony. One of his favourite devices is “a theatre in the theatre” when actors perform a story in front of the audience breaking the wholeness of the stage illusion and getting room for their own defamiliarization.In 1989 Roman Grigoryevich Viktyuk started working in the Vakhtangov theatre.He appeared there for the first time in 1983 when he staged “Anna Karenina” by L. Tolstoy. In M. Roshchin’s interpretation it was not a love story that was important but the moral plot.  The performance stood out for the large scale of issues it showed, but some people found it too beautiful comparing it to “The Lady of the Camellias”. This hint was mentioned again in 1990 when Viktyuk staged English melodrama “The Lady Without the Camellias” with Lyudmila Maksakova in the lead role.The most important work of Viktyuk was the performance “Lessons of Master” by David Paunell based on the story from the Soviet history. In the black and white space of the art director V. Boyer the heroes of this political farce were Stalin, Zhdanov, Prokofyev and Shostakovich. Ulyanov played Stalin without fear – with sharp transitions, cruelty and roughness, heavy physiology and tragic nerve. A. Filippenko played Zhdanov, whose hero combined bootlicking and an impertinent independence, in an eccentric manner.So there appeared a figure of a devil, a inquisitor with the manners of a criminal. In Prokofyev played by Y.Yakovlev there was shown fear and, according to the critic A. Svobodin, a strive for preserving the dignity of the Russian intelligent in the circumstances where it’s impossible.Shostakovich played by Sergey Makovetskiy seemed to be very young (this role was a great discovery for the young actor, though he already performed at the stage of Vakhtangov Theatre).Leaving Vakhtangov Theatre Roman Viktyuk staged one of the most straightforward and democratic performance for the past few years that was filled with admiration of art – “I don’t know you anymore, dear”. This performance showed the skills of such actors as L. Maksakova, S. Makovetskiy and young M. Aronova.In 1999 Roman Viktyuk Theatre got its own building in the Gorbunov Palace of Culture. Viktyuk maintains contacts with Russian provincial theatres. In 2001 he staged “Master and Margarita” by M.A. Bulgakov in the Nizhny Novgorod Drama Theatre named after M. Gorkiy with G.S. Demurov.

Anna Karenina. 1983
The Lady Without the Camellias, 1990
The Cathedral Clergy (Sobory?ane), 1992
Lessons of Master, 1990
I don’t know you anymore, dear, 1994

Yukova I. K. Russian drama theatre of the Soviet Lithuania — Vilnius: Vaga, 1988
Tanana M. Russian drama theatre of Lithuania — Vilnius: Titnago sp., 1996
Viktyuk. Roman s samim soboy. Moscow: Podkova, 2000, 2 edition.: АST; Zebra Е, 2005