In the playbill, the play was called a musical performance in two parts based on the works of Nikolay Pogodin. The author of the stage composition was Soviet and Russian stage and film director Mark Zaharov. In 1979, after a Moscow tour of our theater, theater critics, comparing Belyavsky’s production with Lenkom theatre’s one, preferred the Norilsk version. The repertoire of the northernmost theatre in the mid-1970s often overlapped with that of the capital’s.
Leonid Belyavsky was appointed chief director of the Norilsk drama in 1975, and his seven-year period became one of the best periods in the history of the theater at the 69th parallel.
In fact, Temp-29, a play about the Stalingrad tractor factory, was the director’s first ‘loud’ performance on the Norilsk stage. Belyavsky’s emphasis was on labor based on the people’s will, muscles, and enthusiasm. Perhaps this decision was inspired by the history of the place where the director worked.
The performance included composer Gennady Gladkov’s music to Robert Rozhdestvensky’s verses. The leading actors of the theater of that period – Anatoly Sorokko, Yury Greben, Alexander Elkes and others – were in the lead roles in Temp.
The central roles of the young heroes went to Svetlana Shilyaeva and Vladimir Sizyh.
One of the first spectators of the performance in Norilsk was the French journalist Serge Leyrac. At first, he refused to spend the evening in the city theater: “Well, can we expect much from this northern troupe” …But after he saw the play, he called Temp-29 ‘truly professional work’.
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Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Nornickel polar division archive