Sam Max

Pidor and the Wolf (2019)

  • Full Length
  • Drama
  • Experimental
  • Play with music
  • Tragedy
  • Unconventional
  • grief
  • russia

“With Peter and the Wolf, the composer and author Sergei Prokofiev created a musical fairy tale that has migrated from Russia to our collective childhood memory. In it, a child, Peter, defeats the threatening wolf with his fearlessness and cleverness. Sam Max activates our childlike memory and reinvents this story in a thematically concrete, politically pointed narrative space. Pidor is a discriminatory term for homosexual people in Russian.

Peter, a grown man, leaves his family home late at night. Not without hesitation, but magnetically drawn to the city where a man awaits him. His date, however, turns out to be a trap, as the Wolf tracks down homosexuals with perfidious skill in order to hand them over to homophobic government officials. Instead of fulfilling his promise to return home to celebrate the eighth birthday of his son, Peter ends up in custody, where he reunites with his childhood sweetheart, the musician, Ilya.

The main observer of this double life is the character Peter's Son, who is present twice in the play, both as a 16-year-old narrator and as an eight-year-old child who remains alone with his mother in the house. 

The fact that the playwright Sam Max is also a musician and stage designer is sensually palpable in their Pidor. A volume is inscribed in the text, which accompanies the event in a dense and motivic way. In constant alternation between inside and outside perspectives, the author creates atmospheric and poetic spaces that rub off on the figures. At the same time, the characters themselves switch back and forth between distanced self-observation and dialogical action. Sam Max activates the theater in all its dimensions.

—Suhrkamp Theater Verlag