Monumental

Vladimir Mayakovsky's statue comes to life in site-specific promenade show

 

Grid Iron's production of 'Monumental' used every part of  The Citizen's Theatre Glasgow, apart from the stage. The surrounding streets and skyline became Moscow.

 

Mel's father disappears on a business trip. She steals her mother's credit-card and flies to Moscow to find out what happened to him. She's sixteen, alone and in danger. But in Moscow anything can happen and Mel awakes the statues of revolutionary poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. An adventure begins as they explore the high-life and lowlife, the past and present, of an extraordinary city.

 

The play features other 1920's Futurist creatives such as artist/ spokesman David Burliuk, poet Velimir Khlebnikov and performer/ muse Lily Brik. The statue of Yuri Gagarin also makes an appearance.

I was very fortunate to have poet Edwin Morgan provide a contemporary Scottish translation of Mayakovsky's poems.

'Monumental' was first staged in 1999 in Glasgow, directed by Ben Harrison.  A second production in 2001 was performed by New Venture Theatre Brighton as a studio piece.

Reviews

"... The basic idea of following a 1917 revolutionary and a politically illiterate modern kid through the streets of the ultimate post-communist city is brilliant; the final scene where Mayakovsky feels his huge, lusty life-force freezing back into the cold stone of his statue is heart-rending, full of terrible political resonances, as well as the deepest literary echoes" Joyce McMillan in The Scotsman

"A surfeit of imagination... a remarkable piece of theatre. With it's twists and tangents, 'Monumental' is fascinating in the telling." Mark Fisher in The Herald

"Intellectual debate is achieved through the stunning theatrical eclecticism if the company, combining street theatre, intricate visual trickery, styalised performance and the trademark magic realism -you'd have to be a statue not to be moved." Steve Cramer in Scotland on Sunday