Friday, May 20, 2011

'Ice Trilogy' by Vladimir Sorokin at the PEN World Voices Festival

One among the many highlights of the recent PEN 2011 World Voices Festival included a live performance, directed by the Hungarian film and theater director Kornél Mundruczó, based on Russian writer Vladimir Sorokin’s American debut, Ice Trilogy, an intense, multi-genre novel that spans the 20th century Soviet Union to modern-day Russia. The novel, with its fascinating, key image of an ice hammer that either releases an inner super being – or kills the possible host – was presented as a staged reading at the Old Gym on the Lower East Side on April 30. Mr. Sorokin-- two of whose novels, Ice Trilogy (NY Review Books) and The Day of the Oprichnik (FS&G) were recently published in the US-- was in attendance.

Directed by the Hungarian film and theater director Kornél Mundruczó, The Ice Trilogy was a staged reading in the Old Gym on Mulberry Street, with some enchanting if minimal set design, and riveting performances by Liah Rozenman; Stacey Linnartz; Caitlin Michener; Isidore Elias and Alexandra de Suze. Concept of the show was by Kornl Mundruczo and Marton Agh. The text was based on 'Ice' and was created by Mr. Mundruczo

A musical interlude of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game was subtly and hauntingly woven into the play.The reading moved through a number of tableaux, building in intensity, with drama that felt to be dripping with hidden irony. So glad to have had the opportunity to attend.

Ice Trilogy, the novel, was recently published by NY Review Books, and Day of the Oprichnick, just published by Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.

All photos of the performance by Beowulf Sheehan.

Center: Author Vladimir Sorokin, in the audience.





Thanks to Eszter Gyarfas and Festival Director László Jakab Orsós .

A video of ICE at the Old Gym from the PEN site:

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