The premiere of a performance about faith and unbelief took place at the “School of Modern Play”

In the Moscow theater “School of the modern play” – a performance based on the play by Oleg Maslov “Angels came out to smoke.” Director Iosif Reichelgauz admits that he has long wanted to put on a play about faith and unbelief, about how a person builds his relationship with divine providence, how he comprehends spiritual laws.

Actors Ivan Mamonov and Irina Lindt subtly played the complex family relationships of their characters. Photo: Mikhail Bracilo

There was a danger of slipping into either neophyte preaching or swindling, especially since there are many comic scenes in the play. But the theater invited Father Nikolai Luzanov, rector of the Church of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos, and Fevronia, Abbess of the Holy Vvedensky Island Desert, to read the play. They noted that there is nothing blasphemous in the material, on the contrary, the conversation about the spiritual search is important and relevant today.

The main character Pavel (Ivan Mamonov) is an ordinary hard worker. Life has battered his family, but it seems that now he will finally get a good job, he just needs to pass a medical examination. And – oops! Tests show the presence of a tumor. A referral for computed tomography is like a ticket to the next world.

Pavel is an atheist, unlike his wife Nina (Irina Lindt), who recently frequented the nearest monastery. Their house is located near the monastery lands. Once they bought a wreck, turned it over time into a mansion. All with their own hands. And now – to live to the fullest and did not have time …

But a miracle happens. Pavel finds in the underground of his house a glorified icon, lost more than 300 years ago. Crowds of pilgrims head to the site of the sensational discovery. The monastery authorities are planning to expand the parish. The Metropolitan himself (Alexander Galibin) pays a visit to our heroes and intends to build a chapel on the site of their house. And, of course, demolish the house.

One can understand the reaction of the atheist Paul. His nervous state is exacerbated by disagreements with his wife, fear of a fatal illness, a feeling of an undeservedly early end … The Mamonov-Lindt couple very accurately plays this state of family discord, which breaks the ties between loved ones by thread, by fiber: here is a boring life, and drunkenness, and lack of money, and ideological differences. “Where is your God? Where are his assistants – these, like them, archangels, angels … Did they go out to smoke?” – Pavel is indignant in response to the exhortations of his relatives.

The cast of the performance demonstrates an excellent ensemble game. Tatyana Tsirenina in the image of mother abbess is a bearer of common sense and at the same time a moral tuning fork in all conflicts. Yes, and sometimes endurance and meekness are betrayed, but for the best that is in every person, she will fight to the death. A completely different image is drawn by Alexander Galibin. His metropolitan is an ambitious and domineering man, not without cunning and the ability to calculate all sorts of multi-step moves. But in him, too, the best, the conscientious, ultimately prevails.

So the miracle eventually happens. A CT scan at the regional hospital shows that Pavel does not have oncology. They decide to build a chapel closer to the monastery, away from the house with the newly acquired icon… Family conflicts are also resolved, though not quite as it should be according to the laws of a happy ending. Angels know their stuff.

Source: Российская Газета by

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