27 December 2013
Source: HRO.org (info)
According to Grani.ru, on 19 December senior priest Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, expressed his belief that the director Konstantin Bogomolov’s production of An Ideal Husband is blasphemous. “In my opinion, the symbol of the crucifix has been desecrated by an almost naked woman trying to portray something resembling it,” said Chaplin. He believes that this is a direct insult to those who venerate the symbol.
Chaplin continued by saying that, "Today believers not only can but should endeavour to ensure that the law-enforcement agencies investigate this episode and make a clear statement as to whether this is a violation of the law which for many years has prohibited the desecration of objects worshipped by believers.”
The priest also noted that the performance involved a “blasphemous attempt” to combine a simulation of the sacrament of marriage with “a depiction of same-sex relations or something of the sort”.
"We can only hope that the law-enforcement agencies will respond with the utmost seriousness to this call by Russian believers for an investigation into whether the law has been violated, and, if so, whether this can be stopped from happening again, and whether the people responsible should be brought to justice,” said Chaplin.
On 28 November a group of “Orthodox activists” headed by Dmitry Tsorionov (Enteo) attempted to disrupt a performance of “An Ideal Husband”. According to the theatre’s Facebook page, “At the end of the second act the notorious provocateur Enteo came on stage with a team of supporters shouting, ‘How can you tolerate this mockery of our faith? Why do you hate Christ so much, when he was crucified for us?’ A scuffle broke out at the front of the stage as members of the audience, stagehands and the theatre’s administrative staff dragged the provocateurs from the stage. The third act started after ten minutes.”
"Enteo burst onto the stage with a young Orthodox girl and caused a disturbance. They were removed struggling from the stage and the performance was temporarily stopped,” wrote the musical producer Aleksandr Cheparukhin. “Most of the audience thought that Enteo’s monologue was an inspired invention by the director and another of Bogomolov’s exuberant PR antics.”
Enteo had announced his plans on Twitter a few hours before the performance: “Sodomy on stage at the Moscow Arts Theatre, blasphemy of the clergy, people praying to a naked woman pretending to be a crucifix and so on. We will put a stop to this".
On 25 November the director had announced his departure from the Moscow Art Theatre following requests by the theatre management to make changes to his staging of Brothers Karamazov.
Translated by Joanne Reynolds
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