Yuri Polyakov


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Comedy by Yuri Polyakov to premiere on the Large Stage of Madlenianum

Premiere 12 April 2019 



At the Opera & Theatre Madlenianum has begun the work on the new drama project for the Large Stage. It is a contemporary comedy The Briefcase whose author is one of the most read writers in Russia – Yuri Polyakov (1954).  After a decade of primarily cherishing melodrama and biographical drama in drama repertoire, what has happened in Madlenianum in this season is enrichment of the program with the new genre, first with the romantic comedy Dolce Vita on the Small Stage and now this will be emphasized with the comedy The Briefcase and its premiere expected on 12 April.  

The Briefcase is a witty piece of writing with the incredible plot. Namely, the super-secret, super important atomic briefcase has been stolen from the president of Russia which leads to a series of comic situations. Although inspired by contemporary Russian society and thus very successfully performed in Moscow and several other cities in Russia, this play has great potential for telling a European story.

The Briefcase is the first premiere of a dramatic work of Yuri Polyakov in Belgrade. He is not only a playwright, but also a prose writer and a poet, publicist and a journalist as well. 15 feature films have been made based on his works and the theatre festival The Watching, dedicated to the work of Yuri Polyakov, has been taking place in Moscow since 2015. 

Directing of The Briefcase shall be accomplished by Olja Djordjevic, a multi-awarded author in the comedy genre. At this year's Festival Days of Comedy in Jagodina, out of seven plays in the official competition, two are her directorial work. Her close associates on this project are a stage designer Vesna Popovic, a costume designer Milica Grbic Komazec, a composer Irena Popovic Dragovic, a choreographer Andreja Kulesevic...

The cast are the eminent comedians: Marko Gvero, Jelena Curuvija Djurica, Gorica Popovic, Ivan Bekjarev, Miljan Prljeta, Vanja Nenadic, Danina Jeftic, Sasa Latinovic, Vukasin Jovanovic, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Dubravko Jovanovic.

We are certain that the genre refreshment offered this spring by Madlenianum through The Briefcase project will bring its audience both laughter and a warm and wise play for each generation.


The rebellion of a little man against the repressive authorities and unjust system which actually swallows little people is an eternal theme, from the greatest works of world literature to Hollywood films. That little man who stands out by some sudden, often even to him incomprehensible courage - gives us hope that rebellion is possible, that we might also be able to influence the course of history.

Mihail Strazarenko is one of those people. The wrong choice of profession, the wrong choice of the who he is going to spend his life with, the wrong side of the bed he got up that day, all these leads to the decision that it is necessary to do something, to cut the vivacious circle of a gloomy everyday life in which the only pleasure are fisherman’s picnics and the occasional plate of bad cooked borsch.

Mihail, as a role model to all of us, that day decides to say “no” to the world that suffocates him, but as it usually happens in well-written comedies, he does that in an inappropriate, insufficiently planned and a bit clumsy way which leads to a series of comic situations.

No matter how much do we find Mihail Strazarenko funny in his revolt that often irresistibly resembles Ilija Cvorovic, yet each of us still carries a kernel of that very same feeling. And who knows? Perhaps someone from the audience will, inspired by Strazarenko, wake up one day, open their window and like in the cult movie “TV Network” shout: “I am as mad as hell! I am not going to take this anymore! “.

Olja Djordjevic

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