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Vahtangov State Theatre, Moscow, Russia

Director: Rimas Tuminas

Performed in Russian and Greek with simultaneous interpretation in Hungarian and English.

1 hours 40 minutes.

‘Oedipus Rex’ is a cooperative project of the Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia and the National Theatre of Greece directed by Rimas Tuminas. The show suggests a bilingual form: the Vakhtangov Theatre actors perform the leading parts and Greek actors perform the Chorus.

The contemporary theatre lost understanding of what the ‘chorus’ is, and how it can be a character in tragedy or comedy. Russian theatre also does not have chorus. Only in the Greek culture of the 20th century the sense of the choral action and the understanding of the need for it was rebuilt, step-by-step.

Sophocles’ greatest skill is his ability to embody the extreme state of a human soul being torn apart, into a perfect and harmonious theatrical form, and to reinforce the storyline with clear metaphors and symbols. Aristotle used Sophocles’ tragedies as an example for all later playwrights because he perceived them as the clearest essence of tragedy. The effect of Oedipus on the whole of European culture is enormous.

We can say that ‘Oedipus Rex’ is not a tragedy of fate but a tragedy of self-discovery. Oedipus’ valour is not in his absurd determination to challenge gods and prophecies. It is seen in the fact that he did not back away from his investigation even after it became clear that he has been drawn directly into the darkness of his past, and that it might bring dangerous discoveries. After having discovered what he had done, Oedipus unreservedly accepted his destiny, mercilessly punished himself and began to live the way his crime required. The king turned into an outcast, the unhappiest one of people whose life only consisted of suffering.

Rimas Tuminas, quote: “It is the right time for the Sophocles tragedy. I wish to make a performance about the most important things: virtue and honour. A story about a leader, a man who is strong enough to recompense his own sins, to accept punishment: exile and poverty till the end of his life. Oedipus punishes himself for his crime. It’s hardly possible to find such person in our todays’ reality. Most of the men in power, leaders don’t find themselves guilty at all. Everything is approved and allowed. It’s time to remind about virtue and honour”.

Awards and prizes of the performance: Cristal Turandot Award (received in 2017), Golden Mask 2018 (nominated), Theatral Goer Award 2018 (nominated).


Victor Dobronravov - Oedipus
Liudmila Maksakova - Iocasta          
Evgeny Knyazev – Teireisias
ldar Dzhanibekov - Creon
Evgeny Kosyrev – Priest
Vitalijs Semjonovs – Chorus Leader
Valery Ushakov –Corinthian Shepherd
Ruben Simonov - Theban Shepherd
Maxim Sevrinovskiy - Messenger, from the household of Oedipous
Ekaterina Simonova – Lady, from the household of Oedipous
Pavel Yudin - Soldier
Yiry Tsokurov - Boy




Set designer: Adomas Jacovskis
Costumes designer: Maksim Obrezkov
Composer: Faustas Latenas
Composer of choral parts:Theodore Abazis 
 Lighting Designer: Narek Tumanian
Dramaturg & Acadenic Consultant: Dmitry Trubothckin
Αssistant director: Irina Gromova


Rimas Tuminas

Main Stage
Rimas Tuminas

Rimas Tuminas

(1952 - 2024)

Rimas Tuminas is a Lithuanian director and one of the most prominent and influential figures in contemporary Lithuanian and Russian theatre life. He was born in Lithuania in 1952. In 1970-1974, he pursued studies at the Conservatory of Lithuania. In 1978, he graduated from the Lunacharsky State Institute for Theatre Arts (today the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts) with a degree in directing. In 1979-1990, he was the director of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre (which in 1998 became the Lithuanian National Theatre), and in 1994-1999 he served as its main director. In 1990, he founded the Little Theatre of Vilnius (Valstybinis Vilniaus Mažasis teatras), of which he serves as the artistic director today. He has directed numerous productions. In 1979, he accepted a position as an instructor in the faculty of acting and directing at the Conservatory of Lithuania (today the Lithuanian Music Academy), where he was made associate professor in 1998. In 2007, he became artistic director of the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow. Under his direction, the theatre gathered considerable momentum, and it emerged as one of the most prominent cultural institutions in theatre life in Russia. In 2012, Tuminas founded the First Studio of the Vakhtangov Theatre, where he provides instruction for talented young directors. 
Rimas Tuminas is directing his ‘signature’ performances, in a manner of a total-theatre mix of words, music, mime and symbolism. He has also directed operas in the Bolshoi Theatre.  Major performances staged by Maestro at the Vakhtangov Theatre are ‘Uncle Vanya’ by Anton Chekhov, ‘Masquerade’ by Mikhail Lermontov, ‘Wind in the Poplars’ by Gerald Sibleyras, ‘The Haven’ (based on different authors), ‘Eugene Onegin’ by Alexander Pushkin, ‘Smile upon us, Lord’ by Grigory Kanovich, ‘Minetti’ by Thomas Bernhard, ‘Oedipus Rex’ by Sophocles. Rimas Tuminas opens the world for the Vakhtangov Theatre sending the best performances on tour to Europe, America and Asia, and opens doors of the Theatre for talented directors and actors – both Russian and foreign.
Tuminas has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Prize of Lithuania, the State Prize of the Russian Federation, the Golden Mask Award, the International Stanislavsky Theatre Award, the Crystal Turandot Award, and the Seagull Award.


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