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AKHE Theatre, Russia
19.00 / The Novi Sad Theatre / Wednesday / 27th June 2012

Actors: Pavel Semtchenko, Natalia Shamina, Maxim Isaev
Sound: Andrey Sizintsev
Light and managment: Vadim Gololobov

Duration: 1 hour


From what initially seem to be miniature, fragmented episodes, a story is miraculously created like an intricate puzzle. Entirely silent, wordless performances conjure up the explosive conflict between a lonely man and a solitary woman. While they search the earth for love, they switch roles and flit through genres, adopt masks and manipulate puppets.

The play ‘Pookh and Prakh’ puts in the foreground a dynamic principle that love follows: it appears, disappears and appears again. From the very beginning, the audience is presented with a story of the disappearance of a love. The stage is gradually filled with dirt, the mess grows. The life of the man, who is still trying to prevent chaos, is nearing its end. The woman, after the eventual separation from the man, finds a way to return to her own self and avoids the breakdown.

The play puts the chaos of love in the perspective of a value per se: characters are substitutable, and at the end what we are left with are just symbols which tell us that the wheel of life is turning: love flourishes again like a fire which feeds on itself.

The title ‘Pookh and Prakh’ implies not only the original fragility and impermanence of man but also how small, almost null we are compared to the laws of nature outside our control. The troupe AKHE has a charming ability to show us our own weightless state in a simple way. We start to see our intricate lives as beautiful for the very fact they are so complicated.


Cult icons in Moscow and St. Petersburg independent art scenes and sought after at progressive festivals and across mainland Europe, AKHE creates a unique dream theatre of chaos. Filled with countless absurd and inspired events, its shows are packed with fantastic images and endlessly fascinating stage pictures.

The group was founded by three members of Boris Ponizovski theatre “Yes – No” (Maksim Isaev, Pavel Semtchenko, Vadim Vasiliev) in 1989. The group immediately announced itself as independent (in term of styles and forms) and started their activity in a performance, cinema, and fine art. From 1996 they count themselves more like theatre collective. Since that time the group has been creating for normal (in classical means) stage and has been a permanent participant of theatre festivals in Russia and abroad. The members of the group take part in different theatre projects with other groups and theatres.

Taking into account certain experience of the AKHE group in the field of fine art, it is appropriate to speak about the group as an Optical Theatre or a Russian Engineering Theatre. AKHE uses scenic (ideal) Space including again (ideal) Light and Sound and consider themselves only as Operators. In this case the Space is one of the main characters of the show. The space mastered by the Operators is valuable and sufficient itself.

Recently, they have appeared at the Figuren Theater Festival in Erlangen (Germany).