The Notes of a Stage Rat

The Notes of a Stage Rat


The Notes of a Stage Rat
Vita Nova (2013)
ISBN 978-5-93898-469-1
344 pages
For the third time in succession Eduard Kochergin has created quite a sensation by showing us something we would never discover ourselves, all revealed in his latest book Notes of a Stage Rat.

Ten years ago his collection of stories entitled Angel’s Doll was published; a book based on his childhood memories. He grew up in orphanages and juvenile detention centres for it was during the time of the 1940’s and 1950’s when his parents were being subjected to Stalin’s repression.

A couple of years after the publication of Angel’s Doll he wrote a new collection of stories in the same vein, entitled Christened with Crosses. Amazingly true stories full of colourful images and striking bold characters conveyed in a rich language comparable to the finest works of Maxim Gorky or Vladimir Gilyarovsky. These facets of his works impressed his readers immensely especially as the author’s main profession is not of a literary nature.

According to his own definition, Kochergin is an “artistic man”. Since 1972 he has continuously been the scenic designer of the Bolshoi Drama Theatre, which is currently the Russian State Academic Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre. Almost every year he has been awarded prizes for designing various masterful stage sets. Nevertheless, until recently his artistic skill has hardly affected his literary talent. But now the fusion of his two talents has resulted in greatness.

The back stage world of theatre is unveiled to us in his Notes of a Stage Rat; centuries old, unique, embracing all into eternal captivity.

Notes of a Stage Rat will fascinate readers by the methods and intricacies of scene construction, prop erection, and special effects, alongside ancient legends, marvelous stories, superstitions and customs. What is a stage floor and what kind of rats can be found there? Why does a theatre need a boatswain? What are theatre villages? How does one draw with a stage-coach? An abundance of strange stories along with the fate of others, inimitable bits of life, portraits drawn from the most rare perspectives: “Humankind means going back to basics, to church candles, to iambic tetrameter, back to Pushkin, Dante, Socrates, God, and then, maybe, forward.”

Source: “Chitaem Vmeste” Magazine
Translated by Janina Surowiec and Ivan Slade