An Evening dedicated by the Pushkin Club to Victory Day. The Evening is inspired by the play, The Fallen and The Living // Павшие и живые, which was directed by Yuri Lyubimov and performed at the Taganka Theatre in 1965, on the 20th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The play was dedicated to the young poets who went to the Front straight from school and university – both to those who died and to those who survived.
For the first time in Moscow, the Eternal Flame – to commemorate the Unknown Soldier – was lit, on the stage of the Taganka Theatre, and before every performance the audience were asked to stand and observe one minute’s silence to commemorate all those soldiers who had fallen in the War.
Poems from The Fallen and The Living which were written by those poets who perished – such as Pavel Kogan, Mikhail Kulchitsky, Vsevolod Bagritsky and Semyon Gudzenko – will be read. Poems by other War poets who survived – like Konstantin Simonov, David Samoilov, Boris Slutsky, Yuliya Drunina and others– will also be read, as will poems by poets of later generations which were also dedicated to all those who fought for the Homeland in the Great Patriotic War.
The poems will be read in Russian by three outstanding readers of Russian verse: Elena McGugan, Tatiana Schofield and Alla Gelich. English translations will be provided, together with the text of the Russian originals.
The Evening will be introduced by David Brummell.
David Brummell is a long-standing member of the Pushkin Club, a former trustee of Pushkin House (2004-2013) and is the Vice-Chairman of The Great Britain-Russia Society.
Elena McGugan was born in Moscow. She graduated from Moscow Lomonosov State University in philosophy and, after completing a PhD in Economic Sociology, moved to the UK, where she taught Sociology, Politics, Soviet History and Media Studies at British universities for a number of years. Elena left academia to study for a degree in Communications, Advertising and Marketing and for 10 years worked in Public Relations. She has been passionate about poetry since school and has performed regularly at concerts and events in Russia and the UK.
Tatiana Schofield was born in Moscow. She is a technology transfer professional working at the interface between academic research and industry. She has always been searching for ways to express her passion for art and love of Russian literature. She recently graduated from a drama class at Pinewood Studios and will be introducing her favourite poetry to share her passion for the Russian language, its poetical rhythms and musical richness.
Alla Gelich is a long-standing member of the Pushkin Club, and has given public recitals of Russian poetry on numerous occasions - in Great Britain, Russia, Belgium, Holland and Germany. A recording of her reading lines of poetry will be played during the live performance of Prokofiev's music for the film “Alexander Nevsky” to be performed at the Royal Festival Hall on 3rd May.