n Slavic Almanac : The South African Journal for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies - 'The contemporaries' by Petr Potemkin

Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1025-3386


The hundredth anniversary of the battle of Borodino was widely celebrated in Russia in 1912. The occasion was marked with theatre spectacles, cinematic productions and special publications. A particular place in these jubilee celebrationswas occupied by the almost miraculous presence of five survivors - contemporaries of and participants (or rather alleged participants) in this great battle. The latter issue became the subject of the humorous play 'The contemporaries' by Petr Potemkin, staged in the theatre-cabaret 'The Crooked Mirror'. This article heralds the publication of the play, the text of which was discovered by Oleg Dmitriev among the manuscripts held in the collections of the St. Petersburg State Theatre Library, and recreates certain cultural and historical contexts of Potemkin's lighthearted play.

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