The Guards at the Taj

Two ordinary guys guard the grandiose construction of a palace that they are not allowed to look at. They joke, share their secrets, dream about the future, until a mad emperor orders to chop off of the hands of 20,000 builders...

In 2016, Rajiv Joseph's tragicomedy The Guards at  the Taj was named The Best American Play by the Off-Broadway Obie Award.

What if the plot about the secret palace construction had been told in the spirit of Tarantino? Chthonic aesthetics, witty humor, the bloody and the terrible, the philosophical and the beautiful are woven together in the conversations of Humayun and Babur.

This is a story of those who follow orders. What to choose when 40,000 severed hands are on one side of the scale and your head is on the other?

Along with Babur and Humayun, the hands are the protagonists of the play, and with their help conversations are formed, birds fly, and stars light up.

"The Guards at the Taj" invites a tour not into a luxurious palace, but inside yourself - a tour that is honest and uncompromising.

Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Director: Anna Demidova

Choreographer: Lyuda Burysheva

Costume Designer: Svetlana Podbirilova

Lighting Designer: Antonina Lebedeva

Music: Shurochka Chernokrylov, Askhat Sukhanberdin, Valentin Kovanovsky, Pavel Lapukhin

Sound engineer: Anton Rozov

Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus
Anton Chekhov bursts into the present day with the techno beats of DJ Waffles. The participants of this bacchanalia are easily to recognize: Serebryakov is an aqua-disco enthusiast, Sonya is a young eco-activist, Astrov is a two-headed mutant... Chekhov's characters watch Netflix and YouTube videos, dance hard and hot, as they should at the best raves.

Uncle Vanya runs not an estate, but a real cabaret.
Why not an old estate?
Well, what would you prefer in his place?

This physical theater is not at all what you expect to see. In Anna Demidova's ''Uncle Vanya'', movement and drive dominate the text. Get ready for a real challange for your perception!

Duration - 60 min

Director: Anna Demidova
Choreography: Lyuda Burysheva
Set design: Yulia Aleinik
Costume Designer: Svetlana Podbirlova
Make-up Designer: Anna Mishina
Lighting Designer: Antonina Lebedeva
Sound Designer: Anton Rozov
Musicians: Andrey Golubev, Shurochka Chernokrylov
Composer: Mitya Zolotov
One Day We Will All Be Happy

The girl Masha is live streaming from her room. What will she talk about? Her childhood, her mother, friends, her first crush and the first serious choice of her life...

A performance that was born during the pandemic, when we were all on lock down. Artists from Russia, the USA, France, Great Britain and Armenia took part in its creation.

One Day We Willll All Be Happy is broadcast live from our secret headquarters right on your gadget screen. And after the performance, you will have a discussion with its creators.

Duration - 60 min
The play is available in 2 languages: Russian and English

Masha - Arina Drozdova
Sound Producer - Lilith Oganesyan
Sound Designer - Nikolay Kairov
Video Designer - Veronica Raul
Text writer - Ekaterina Vasilyeva
Interpretation - Steven Ochsner
English text reading - Aisha Kashayeva
Director and author of the idea - Anya Dyemidova

Urban Forest Echo
"Kindergarten, not theater," according to some woman on the Internet.

Who lives at the bottom of the Moscow underground? A horror that flies on the wings of post-irony. Theater, the name of which no Russian person can pronounce...

Urban Forest Echo...

We love to combine incomputable things: theater and rave, Russian classics and electronic music, actors and dancers, artists and musicians, scientists and urban madmen...

We stand for Ecology, Eroticism, and Epatage. Also for Inclusion, even though it's on the E.

Director, ideological leader and inspirer of Urban Forest Echo, a human being with a personality organization banned in Russia.

Now is actually a part of organization banned in Russia.

Anna got a classical education in drama, first in the Institute of Modern Art, and then in Russian Institute of Theatre Arts (GITIS). She received her additional professional training in physical theatre with Jan Fabre Teaching Group, Odin Teatret, Ostrenko Brothers, Tony De Maeyer, Anton Adasinsky and others.

Her theatre language is sometimes compared by critics to «Rick and Morty» TV-series. 

Director: Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus, "The Guards at the Taj", "One Day We Will All Be Happy", DOPPLER, "Purgatorium", "The Bridge", ect

Graduated from the Moscow City Pedagogical University. A researcher in the field of physical theater.
Traveled through her homeland and abroad in search of lost, found, secret and not-so-secret body practices. Can teach you do splits. Expensive. Friendly with some variations.
Choreographer: Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus, "The Guards at the Taj", DOPPLER

Actress: Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus, "The Guards at the Taj"
Your favorite Grinders from "Simple Truths" and our team mascot.

Didn't write anything about himself (so we had to), but has written several books.

Actor: Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus, "The Guards at the Taj", DOPPLER
Graduated from the Institute of Modern Art, workshop of n.a. Dmitry Pevtsov and Olga Drozdova. Has a weakness for acting, and creativity in general. Has the goal to hitchhike around the world, to reach Hollywood, and become a sought-after actor. A jolly fellow. Not married.

Actor: Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus, "The Guards at the Taj", DOPPLER
A Dancer, Performer. Practices butoh, as well as experimental improvisational dance, which is rooted in a passion for hip-hop and Brazilian samba. The fascination is gone, but the carnival in the soul remains!

Actress: "The Guards at the Taj" , Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus
Graduated from the Faculty of Acting at Institute of Modern Arts in 2015. She loves to sing and write songs. Arina even has a band named "Jessie and James".

She doesn't go out of her way to get a word in edgewise.
Loves to play nice so that as few people as possible know about her monstrous bitchiness.

"I have snakes living on my head, I love them all. But you can't see them with your human eyes" ©️ Arina.

Actress: Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus, "The Guards at the Taj", "One day we'll all be happy"
He graduated with honors from the Higher Academy of Serious Business. Accidentally will win your heart, but you can't distract him from business, he's very busy, very busy. So think twice, think twice... A great cook and family man, a star that lights up the night sky, he was born to conquer the sky and our hearts, minds and stomachs. He also smells nice.

Actor: "The Guards at the Taj"
Marina Mashtakova
We also have a wonderful actress and a person with Down syndrome in our team.

Here's what Marina told us about herself:

"I am Marina. I like acting in theater, making movies and walking down the runway. I also like sweets and I don't like it when parrots get into my food".
Dreamed of theater since birth, but in reality has been in the theater studio since she was 15 years old. Graduated from the Institute of Modern Art. Served in the Dolgoprudny Municipal Theatre, but left to learn new things.

Loves Italy, Harry Potter, her cat and making repairs. Trying to make friends with seven-string guitar through Russian rock, bards and romances.

Actress: Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus
He loves his homeland as much as he loves music and photography, but it does not love him back (as well as its other sons and daughters). Music and photography occasionally reciprocate - it is soothing. Hhe likes coffee with pickles and cheese.

DJ: Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus.

Sound Designer: "One day we will all be happy".

Photographer: at all performances, rehearsals, parties and more
She didn't tell us anything about herself, but we still know she is an Actress in Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus.
Tonya Lebedeva
She was born into a family of theater people, who tried by all means to make it so that she would not get into the theater. So from the time she was a baby they dragged her to work in the theater. And to consolidate the success - sent to the ballet studio, in which Tonya danced until she was 20 years old.

At first she graduated with distinction from the Theatrical Arts College. After working with Kalyagin at his theater for 7 years and staging there as a lighting designer, she decided to cool and enrolled in the Moscow Art Theatre School.

But practically before she graduated one charming wretch (aka her daughter :)) came into her. Tonya tries to remove her doughter from the theater with her familiar methods :)

Lighting Designer: Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus, "The Guards at the Taj"

Аnton Rozov 
Graduated from MITRO. Concert and studio sound engineer. Worked as a member of several groups of heavy musical genres, loves soccer, music, bass guitar, snowboarding and his profession.

Sound engineer: Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus, "The Guards at the Taj"

Svetlana Podbiralova
Our permanent set and costume designer for "The Guards at the Taj" and Cabaret Torture Freak Show Chekhov Dark Circus 

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