‘How We Buried Joseph Stalin’

‘I’ve never had any elbows’, says a doctor at Stalin's grave when another doctor, his colleague, tries to blame someone else’s elbow on the fact that the dead leader’s teeth fell out of his mouth.

What the what? It is an excerpt from ‘How We Buried Joseph Stalin’, a tragifarce by the playwright Artur Solomonov. We staged (read) it in Budva and Bar on the 12th and 13th of January, respectively.

Sometimes history repeats itself as tragifarce, we all bear witness to it, and then we can only find solace in art. We at Pristanište are happy people: Our talented friends from across Europe and Ukraine gathered in Montenegro and once again proved it.

Almost 400 people in the two towns were able to laugh together at the subtle jokes of this play which has once again become relevant. It was a staged reading, not a theatrical production; apart from professional actors, the parts were read by non-professionals, too.

The end result turned out to be brilliant! After the reading, the spectators stood outside, in no hurry to get home, and talked about how they felt themselves to be not only spectators, but participants as well. They almost physically felt this whirligig of history that draws you in, beyond your will.

Thank you to everybody who came and shared these emotions with us! And we apologize to those who couldn’t get in the already packed room and promise to rectify this at our future events. You, our audience, have donated €3640 to our refugee relief fund, and this is our absolute event-based fundraising record.

We are immensely grateful to Ukrainian actors Viktor Koshel and Katarina Sinchillo who read, probably, the most powerful and emotional parts of Voldemar (Old Stalin) and Valentina, Stalin’s aide.

Bravo to all the performers: Marat Gelman, Alexander Morozov, Victoria Ivleva, Mitya Zolotov, Igor Oparin, Alexander Shmelev, Vladimir Shmelev, and, of course, Mikhail Borzykin.

We are very grateful to Tre Canne (Budva) and Adriatic Open (Bar) for providing venues for our events. Thanks to you we were able to share these wonderful nights with many people.

If you missed these readings, but would like to read the play, you can find it at the following link.
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