Our worlds is upside down

after Fyodor Dostoyevsky


A co-operation with the Ta-Tu Theatre Salzburg, founded in 1999 and directed by Caroline Richards.

The Idiot is one of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s five great novels, all of which belong to world literature, and was published from January 1868 to February 1869.

In a version where the playfulness and originality of Andreas Simma and the virtuosity of Yorgos Pervolarakis are entirely at the service of the story, we want to bring this beautiful and sad story, in an unorthodox way which of course also allows laughter, closer to the people of today.

In order to transform this 700-page novel into one and a half hours, we had to concentrate on the essence, i.e. on the character of Prince Myshkin and his fate.
With Myshkin, « The Idiot », Dostoevsky presents a deeply kind and tragic hero. In his naivety and boundless reliability, Myshkin is reminiscent of Don Quixote.

The other characters in the novel are frighteningly protagonists in the here and now.
Intrigue, lies – to make them socially acceptable -, fake news dominating everyday politics – all this has become daily business in our world. The position of women in society, revolution, money and power, the dominance of the super-rich, as well as fundamental questions about life, love and death make this novel so modern and universally valid.

The play

Two men in a room, a cell of an asylum? A carpet. The carpet of the storytellers from the Arabian Nights, from a living room in Russia?

They tell us a story. Their story. Friends? A guard and his madman? A musician and an actor or all at the same time?

They are IDIOTs.

Andreas Simma plays almost all the characters, manipulates objects, puppets and in their midst, as a red thread, Prince Myshkin, the open-minded, the naïve, the eternal traveller who returns to Russia from a sanatorium in Switzerland. Myshkin discovers « society » and is a victim of his own nature because of his deep authenticity, his truthfulness and his innocence. Broken, he will return to the sanatorium.

Yorgos Pervolarakis creates a tapestry of sound through his music that connects the characters, some of whom he also plays, breathing depth, truth and warmth into them.

The theatrical space

Ragna Heiny’s scenography supports the play of the artists through the use of videos and projections, which thus underline the action of the plot in a « virtual » space. She is also the creator of the puppets used in the play.

Play by Andreas Simma and Yorgos Pervolarakis
Direction by Caroline Richards
Music by Yorgos Pervolarakis
Stage design and costumes by Ragna Heiny
Dramaturgy by Eva-Maria Schachenhofer