Eglė Švedkauskaitė: “Man from Fish“ is a linguistic maze, a net of confessions erupting at night, spoken by women's lips and heard by men's ears. This is quite a rare occurrence in dramaturgy. To present Asia Vološina's play to me is to invite the viewer to a stretched time in which anxiety unfolds. About yourself, about your body, about your child, about the country and the future. This is an opportunity to delve deeper into the concept of freedom - what does it mean in a non-democratic environment? My defiance or non-opposition? Isn't resignation and cynicism towards the rotting system a form of self-imprisonment? And so are dependence on illusions and unfulfilled desires, helplessness, timidity to act and waiting for hope, after all, a bridle on freedom, perhaps even more constraining than those imposed on man by systems and ideologies. The reality (and the state) in this play is oppressive, it comes into a home that the characters in the play naively consider to be a fairly solid barricade and takes what it wants. But if you barricade yourself in your apartment to escape your daily routine, are you not doing the service for the system? You retreat. Upon realising the absurdity of your standing at a rally, you rush into the safe world of quotes and dreams at home. In the face of the unconstrained aggression promoted by Russia today, it is a bold question to ask, but “Man from Fish” invites one to wonder: what is the point of going to city squares when you know the scenario of yet another picket by heart? What if your intuition is telling you with increasing clarity that you are dealing with a dead country whose body went cold even before you were born?
Asia Vološina is an active Russian playwright of the young generation. Her collection of plays The Choir Dies was published in 2018. Those are four plays about Russia, including the play Man from Fish (2016), presented for the first time in Lithuania. The staging of this play by director Yuri Butusov in 2018 became an event not only at the Moscow Art Theatre but also of the entire theatre season.
Eglė Švedkauskaitė graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (course director Jonas Vaitkus). She debuted with Heda Gabler (2017, the Russian Drama Theatre of Lithuania). In 2018, she won the Young European Theatre award at the Spoleto Festival (Italy). Her work is characterised by analysis of contemporary society, revealing through comic stereotypical situations the recognisable realities of the contemporary world.