The Black Monk

The Чёрный Mönch

Based on Anton Chekhov's play

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2022 archive

Kirill Serebrennikov

Hamburg - Moscow - Avignon / Created in 2022

Overworked intellectual Andrey Kovrin needs rest. A ghostly black monk appears to haunt him… But there’s more than just one truth.

The Black Monk, Kirill Serebrennikov, 2022 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


Andrey Kovrin, overworked intellectual who dreams of liberty and glory, decides to retire to the country house of his old friend Pesotsky and his daughter Tanya to get some rest. As he sits in the garden, he sees the ghost of a monk, who will haunt his stay and eventually drive him mad. Adapting this short story, Kirill Serebrennikov remembers that Anton Chekhov depicts characters lost in the “infernal circle” of peculiar truths. Nothing less could shrink their field of vision so. The director also remembers that the story is made up of many personal stories that clash and weave together into a complex ensemble: that of a truth no one can hold alone. A challenge to which the dissident artist responds by showing the same story from the point of view of each of the protagonists, and by multiplying perspectives and vanishing points. Meanwhile Hecate, the goddess of evil moons which haunt the stage, watches over all…

A physician by training, Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) is one of the most famous poets of Russian literature. He believed in progress and happiness. His lucidity and his rejection of all delusions, about men, society, or religion, nurtured his work but also influenced the renewal of theatrical notions of his time


With Filipp Avdeev, Odin Biron, Bernd Grawert, Mirco Kreibich, Viktoria Miroschnichenko, Olga Pavliuk, Gabriela Maria Schmeide, Gurgen Tsaturyan
And the singers Genadijus Bergorulko (baritone), Pavel Gogadze (tenor) , Friedo Henken (baritone), Sergey Pisarev (tenor), Azamat Tsaliti (baritone), Alexander Tremmel (tenor), Vitalijs Stankevich (baritone)
And the dancers Tillmann Becker, Arseniy Gordeev, Chris Jäger, Laran, Ilia Manylov, Andrei Petrushenkov, Ivan Sachkov, Daniel Vliek

Text, direction Kirill Serebrennikov
Set design Kirill Serebrennikov assisted by Olga Pavliuk
Collaboration in the direction and choreography Ivan Estegneev, Evgeny Kulagin
Music Jēkabs Nīmanis
Musical direction Uschi Krosch
Musical arrangements Andrei Poliakov
Dramaturgy Joachim Lux
Lights Sergey Kuchar
Video Alan Mandelshtam
Costumes Tatyana Dolmatovskaya
Assistant direction Anna Shalashova
Translation in german Yvonne Griesel
French translation for surtitles Daniel Loayza, Macha Zonina
English translation for surtitles Lucy Jones


Production Thalia Theater (Hamburg)
Co-production Festival d'Avignon with the support of the ministère de la Culture
With the support of the Gogol Center (Moscow), the Onda - Office national de diffusion artistique
With the help of the Michael Otto Foundation, Rudolf Augstein Foundation, Richard M. Meyer Foundation et Cybersteel
In partnership with ARTE and France Médias Monde

An international production with German, Russian, American, French, Georgian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Armenian and Filipino artists.

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