The best play of the literary heritage of one of the most prominent representatives of the Silver Age, Nikolai Gumilyov, was written by him three years before the tragic departure from life.
The era of the creative explosion of the early 20th century has always interested Roman Viktyuk; no matter what production he is working on at the moment, the director always relies on the creative experience of the geniuses of that era - poets, playwrights, artists. And of course, the fate of these geniuses, who are almost always tragic. In the years when Gumilyov wrote Poisoned Tunic, the contrast between the sophistication of the creative atmosphere of the century and the reality that tried to kill this atmosphere with all his might was bright, as, perhaps, never before and never after. To oppose the cruel reality in which Gumilyov, Mandelstam, Sologub existed is possible only with the highest splashes of creative energy, therefore their texts are so high and creatively saturated. It is such literary and general artistic material that attracts the director Roman Viktyuk, who is extremely sensitive to the borderline states of human souls and most of all appreciates the works dictated by these states, written contrary to what prevents the artist from realizing his high mission, since it is then that the greatest texts.
The text of the play is sophisticated and imaginative, filled with the atmosphere of oriental poetic lyrics, because the prototype of the protagonist, a wandering poet Imra, was one of the founders of Arabic poetry, the legendary poet and warrior Imru al-Qais, whose real facts of life and work became the basis of the plot of the play. And, like Gumilyov, who wrote the tragedy from the perspective of the world-centered poetry of the universe, Roman Viktyuk, who basically exists in the same universe, combines in his performance the last days of the poet’s life with his own work. To reveal the creation by revealing the fate of the creator is one of his most important directorial methods.
Showing in the “Poisoned Tunic” a tectonic break of times and destinies, shouting and crying about death, which has taken on the face of love, Viktyuk shouts and cries about the destroyed generation of creators of the early XX century. A generation whose great heritage no one has yet been able to surpass.