Multimedia play ‘I Killed the Tsar’ Opens in Moscow on 25th November


The multimedia play ‘I Killed the Tsar’, premieres on 25th November, at the Theater of Nations (театре Наций) in Moscow. The role of Nicholas II will be performed by People’s Artist of the Russian Federation Yevgeny Mironov, the role of Empress Alexandra Fedorovna by Alexandrvosky Theater actress Olga Belinskaya, and the role of Tsesarevich Alexei will be performed by 13-year-old actor Ivan Shchenin. In total, the production of ‘I Killed the Tsar’ involves 35 actors.

Using VR-technology, the play is an attempt to recount the events associated with the murder of Nicholas II and his family in Ekaterinburg in July 1918, based on irrefutable facts. The play is based on thousands of historical documents collected from the largest archives and museums in Russia. Materials for the play were provided by the State Archive of the Russian Federation, the Russian State Archive of Phonographic Documents, the Russian State Military Historical Archive, the St. Petersburg Branch of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia and the Museum of the History of Ekaterinburg.

Theater press secretary Maxim Andriyanov, noted that the creators of the play tell the story of the execution of the Imperial family not only from the victims of that terrible night, but also from those who executed the decision of the Ural Regional Council of workers, peasants and soldiers’ deputies. A significant part of the virtual performance is built on the biographies and testimonies of members of the firing squad.

According to the production’s director Mikhail Patlasov, every detail and every fact used in the performance is confirmed by archival documents. Due to the fact that there are so many documents, it is possible to focus not only on the Imperial family, but also on all participants in the execution, and to trace their fate, he noted.

“It is known that the family of Nicholas II was fond of photography, thousands of images have been preserved that allowed us to create a special optical scheme, a format to which vintage pictures can be turned into videos. With the help of VR glasses, viewers will get inside these photos, inside the story, where the “Tsesarevich Alexei will become the protagonist. It is his questions to the killers 100 years after the execution that will become the core on which the whole plot of the performance is strung,” Patlasov said.

The multimedia component is implemented with the use of virtual reality glasses and headphones.

After the premiere shows in Moscow, which will last until 8th December, the multimedia play ‘I Killed the Tsar’ will go on tour to Ekaterinburg, where it will be presented at the Yeltsin Center, and then the tour will continue on to Tobolsk.

© Paul Gilbert. 11 November 2019

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