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Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky



National Theatret, Budapest, Hungary

Director: Valery Fokin

Performed in Hungarian, with English subtitles

1 hours 35 minutes, without breaks.

What happens when one is swallowed by a crocodile? One dies, you would think. But what does Dostoyevsky say?  When Ivan Matveich, a civil servant from St. Petersburg, is swallowed alive by a giant crocodile, he does not die. Rather, much the crocodile’s surprise, he is pretty happy about the situation. From the reptile’s belly he can spread light and new ideas among his fellow citizens. “You have only to creep into a secluded corner or into a crocodile, to shut your eyes, and you immediately devise a perfect millennium for mankind,” so philosophizes the protagonist inside the crocodile.

The short story was inspired by a real event: in 1864 a German zoologist was making money by exhibiting a live crocodile to audiences that craved the exotic. The odd and grotesque experience made Dostoyevsky write a sour, philosophical, absurd story, drawing mainly on the literary traditions of Gogol’s St. Petersburg tales (such as The Nose and The Overcoat).   

The Hungarian première of the performance was held in the National Theatre, Budapest in 2016. The director, Valerij Fokin, is an outstanding creative mind in Russian theatrical life and also the artistic director of one of the most significant theatres in Russia, Alexandrinsky Theatre, in St. Petersburg. His production of Zero Liturgy, a play based on Dostoyevky’s The Gambler, was one of the biggest successes of MITEM in 2014.

Ivan Matvejics

Lajos Ottó Horváth

Jelena Ivanovna

Auguszta Tóth

Szemjon Szemjonics

Attila Kristán

Nyina Pavlovna

Nelli Szűcs

Anna Petrovna

Andrea Söptei

German owner

József Szarvas

Tyimofej Szemjonics
Andrej Oszipics

Tamás Olt

Berettyán Sándor e.h., Ferenci Attila, Gaál Natália, Kacsúr András, Kacsúr Andrea, Sőtér István,  Stefánszky István e.h., Szabó Imre, Szabó Sebestyén László, Tarpai Viktória, Vass Magdolna

András Kozma

Set and costume

Szemjon Pasztuh


Anton Lakhontov

Dramaturge, associate director

András Kozma


Igor Kacsajev


Aszja Muhina

Stage manager

István Lencsés

Gábor Dobos


Anikó Sütő

Assistant director

Ágota Kolics


Valery Fokin

Main Stage
Valery Fokin

Valery Fokin

Fokin Valery Vladimirovich. Russian world-renowned Russian director. Artistic director of the National Drama Theater of Russia (Alexandrinsky Theater). People's Artist of Russia, winner of four State Prizes of Russia.

People's Artist of Russia, winner of four State Prizes of Russia, Honored Art Worker of Poland. Since 2003 he has been the Art Director of Alexandrinsky Theater. Since 2006 - member of the Presidium of the Presidential Council for Culture and Art. President of the V. Meyerhold Theatrical and Cultural Center - since 2011. Chairman of the Guild of Russian Theatre Directors 2012-2020.

Valery Fokin has received numerous Russian and foreign awards and prizes, the most recent being the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, First Class - "For Great Contribution to Development of National Culture and Art, Lengthy and Fruitful Activity," the Order of the Rising Sun, Golden Rays with Neck Ribbon for his contribution to development of the Japanese-Russian cooperation in theatrical art, the French National Order of Arts and Letters.

From 1970 to 1985 V. Fokin was the director of the Moscow Theatre "Contemporary".

From 1985 to 1991 he was the head of the Moscow Theatre named after M. N. Ermolova. The first productions of the young chief director put the theater among the most popular. 

According to unanimous recognition of the press, the first program for Fokin at the Theater of them. Yermolovaya Theatre, the first production of Fokine's play Speak Out... was to mark a turn to a new theatrical way of thinking in the Russian theater. For this performance in 1987, Valery Fokin was awarded the State Prize of the RSFSR in the field of literature and art.

From 1975 to 1979 he taught at the GITIS (Moscow State Theatre Institute), and from 1993 to 1994 at the Cracow High Theatre School (Poland) and the Toen Theatre (Japan). Led master classes at European directors' courses in Spain, Sweden and Bulgaria.

Valery Fokin has been the Chairman of the Commission on the Creative Heritage of V.E. Meyerhold since 1988. In 1991, on the initiative of the Commission on Creative Heritage of V. Meyerhold and with the support of the Union of Theatre Workers of Russia and the Union of Architects of Russia, the V. Meyerhold Centre was established. The CIM was given the status of a state unitary enterprise by the Moscow Government in 1999. In 2000 Valery Fokin was awarded with the State Prize of Russia for educational activities - for preserving, studying and developing the artistic heritage of V. Meyerhold and creating the V. Meyerhold Theatre and Cultural Centre". The new CIM building was opened on February 12, 2001. Valery Fokin was the Director and Artistic Director of the CIM from its foundation until September 2011, and has been its President since September 2011.

In 2002 he staged Nikolai Gogol's “The Inspector General” at the Aleksandrinsky Theatre (together with the CIM), the play was awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation, the 

Golden Mask Award of the Russian Federation, and the Golden Sofit Award of the St Petersburg Theatre. Since 2003 he has been Artistic Director of the Alexandrinsky Theatre.

He has presented about a hundred theatrical productions in Russia and abroad.

During the years of his artistic direction V.V. Fokin has become the artistic director of the Alexandrinsky Theatre. Over the years of Fokin's artistic management Aleksandrinsky theater became the leading dramatic theater of Russia, initiating a number of large-scale national and international projects.

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