For the first time St Petersburg theatregoers will have the chance to see Mark Geylikman’s monologue ‘Luka’, based on his mystically themed poem of the same title. Audiences will experience the moving love story of Alexander Pechersky (leader of the only successful escape from Nazi death camp ‘Sobibor’) and Dutch prisoner Luka, who he named the ‘rebellion’s muse’…”
Rostov’s Alexander Pechersky Day of Remembrance was marked by the showing of a play for one actor. Its writer is the well-known poet and cultural activist Mark Geylikman. The show’s creation was inspired by the story of a Red Army officer and describes the romance and heroic deeds of two lovers, Alexander Pechersky and Dutch woman, Luka. Together they organised a mass escape from Sobibor concentration camp. The writer decided to hold the performance’s premier in Rostov, the hero’s home city. It took place at the cinema of Rostov State Institute of Cinematography.
The monologue play about Sobibor is to continue its tour, Mark Geylikman, writer of the mystically themed poem ‘Luka’ has announced. “We have already taken the performance to cities in several regions. Its first staging was on Pechersky’s birthday in his native Rostov” he said. According to Geylikman, these performances are extremely important for young people. “It is important this history doesn’t disappear and that it gets the place it deserves in the way the war is recorded, listed among significant acts of resistance to Nazism” the monologue’s writer stated. The idea for its creation took shape after he wrote a narrative poem on the same theme, which led to a group initiative to preserve for posterity the memory of the heroes of Sobibor. Pechersky was posthumously awarded with the Order of Courage.
This is the moving story of the love affair between Alexander Pechersky and Dutch prisoner Luka, his ‘muse of rebellion’. The show based on the mystically themed poem of the same name is performed by the writer – Russian poet and cultural activist Mark Geylikman. The poem is heard to music by contemporary composers from St Petersburg.
‘Luka’ is a narrative poem described as ‘mystical’. Why? Because its writer has allowed himself to use some elements of fantasy. He imagines Pechersky, a frail eighty-year-old man in his flat when the telephone rings. On the line is Luka. A long-awaited reunion takes place, they talk, they remember… Then suddenly the hero realises that his elderly lover is none other than Death… The story is enhanced by live music performed by Yulia Mikhailova, a girl with a flute who rises out of nowhere like a spirit. Can the hero see her? Or only us, the audience? We cannot tell…
Carrying on quoting from the classics, here is a line from Nikolai Rubtsov: “…and with all my soul that I could sink without regret in secret things and sweetness…”. So therefore, if we managed to even only briefly soak the whole country in something sweet and sentimental, something full of sincerity, thoughtfulness and loyalty, and if all our hearts and all our strength were really focused on making it happen, I hope we would be able to create a firm basis for genuine harmony, and real successes and achievements towards a better, more transformative and joyful future for people everywhere.
Dear Mr Geylikman,
I must express to you and to all those involved in the monologue performance ‘Luka’, my sincerest gratitude for your commemoration of the immortal heroism of Alexander Pechersky, Soviet officer and prisoner of war, who during the conflict’s darkest years organised an uprising in the Nazi death camp of Sobibor. This is one of the most important episodes in the history of the Great Patriotic War and its example of courage, bravery and unbounded love for the Motherland serves today to teach the younger generation to pay close attention to their country’s past, and to honour and remember those who delivered victory in the bloodiest, most severe war in the history of mankind.
I wish you the best of health, happiness and further successes in the patriotic education of the upcoming generation!
S. A. Antashev
Head of Tolyatti Regional Administration
Mark Geylikman’s narrative poem ‘Luka’ was the trigger that began the campaign to restore the memory of the uprising in Sobibor death camp.
The premier of the monologue play based on this poem took place on Alexander Pechersky’s Day of Remembrance, 19th January 2019 at Rostov State Institute of Cinematography. The performance conveys a very profound impression, and I believe expresses the absolute essence of Alexander Pechersky’s feat of courage. I offer my deepest recognition to the author for the creation of Luka, everyone should see this performance.
The monologue play by talented poet Mark Geylikman has revived interest in the ‘theatre of one actor’. It is no accident that his heartfelt appeals to civic values, his lyrical poems, monologues and dialogues with saxophone accompaniment have won the hearts of audiences all over Russia. His is the famous show ‘Luka’, dedicated to the memory of Alexander Pechersky, leader of the uprising of inmates at the Nazi extermination camp of Sobibor, the lyrical poem ‘Country of Love’ and other works. These solo performances have repeatedly played to full houses in the greatest theatres of Moscow, St Petersburg, Samara and other Russian cities. I strongly recommend you watch these highly original examples poetry for the stage – audiences cannot fail to be moved.