Mamin-Sibiriak is one of the most lyrical and tender voices of nineteenth century russian literature. In Russia, as in Western Europe, the second half of the ninetenth century was a time of quick progress, inventions and rapid development in engeneering. That meant that railways, new roads and growing cities had their inevitable impact on nature. Ancient woodlands and green fields had to retreat and make way for so called "progress".
Many authors saw clearly the negative impact this situation started to have on the environment, they foresaw future dangers too. Chekov, Turgenev, Bunin and Mamin-Sibiriak spoke of that process in very different ways. Mamin-Sibiriak's way was the way of a true poet, of a lyrical fairy tale, where every tree stump could feel, every creature could speak and every leaf could hear.
His Little Greyneck is an excellent example of that. It's a tale that teaches children to value and respect the environment and every being (no matter how small!) that inhabits it. Although occasionally this fairy tale becomes very dramatic, it never ventures into areas of "harsh" and "cruel". It allows children to experience a wide range of emotions without making them frightened, or unduly upset. Perhaps that particular quality speaks of the deep humanism of its author.
Performed at The Courtyard Theatre, London in January 2019
Elizaveta Timoshenko, Artur Valitov/Álvaro Núñez, Daina veprauskiene/Anna Grinevich, Leonid Kara, Olga Zakharevskaya, Erna Rozmislovich, Annabell Reay, Lina Kruikova, Anastasia Bychai, Vladimir Filimonov, Lubov Parkins, Daina Veprauskiene, Anna Grinevich, Bijan Badi, Janetta Rajevskaya.