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Playwrite Aleksei/Aleksej Arbuzov (1908-1986)

Biography of the playwright Aleksei /Aleksej Arbuzov

(May 26, 1908) Born in Moscow to a Russian father and Greek mother.

(1918) At 10 years of age he loses his parents and is cared for by his aunt.

(1922) First contact with the theatre world when hired as an extra at the Marinski (Kirov?) Theatre of St. Petersburg.

(1924) He goes on to develop his skills in a theatre studio.

(1925) Enters a drama school.

(1927) Graduates drama school.

For some time he directs a touring troupe and puts on plays in Leningrad. Also he takes on the literature department of the first sovkhoz theatre in the capital area of Russia.

(1930) Goes to Moscow and writes in the magazine "Stage Club". In the same year writes his first play, "Rank" (the first of the 30 he would complete).

(1934) Writes his first comedy, "Six Lovers" (inspired by his experience in sovkhoz).

(1936) Writes the play, "Long Way".

(1938) Writes "Tania" .

("Long Way" and "Tania" become to be considered the two most successful of his plays).

(1939-1944) With director Pluchek he forms a group that plays for the troops at the frontline. At the same time with Pluchek he also creates a drama school.

(1947) Writes "Get with Youth" .

(1953) Writes "European Chronicles" and "Years of Wandering", (the latter he considered his best play).

(1959) Writes "Twelfth Hour" and "Irkutsk Story".

(1965) Publishes the well known play "The Promise" which is then performed in 66 Russian theatres that same year (1636 performances).

(1967) Writes the play "Nocturnal Confession".

(1971-1981) Manages the Young Dramatist studio in collaboration with other significant teachers like L.Petrousevkajia and A. Kazanchek (thereby heroically aiding many then unwanted playwrights).

(1975) Writes his last play "Old Fashion(ed?) Comedy".

Arbuzov was married three times and fathered a son and two daughters. He lived most of his life in Moscow and almost all of his plays were written in Gialt. He was secretary for the Moscow Writers Association and vice-president of the International Theatre Institute.

Arbuzov passed away on April 20, 1986.

Arbuzov's plays are published and directed all over the world. He also wrote many movie-scripts such as "Poor Marik" (U.K.), "Old Arbat Fairy Tales", "Old fashion(ed?) Comedy", "The Choice" (Poland), "Memories" (France) and various others, some further details can be found at The Internet Movie Database:

This post is edited from the original piece posted on Alice in Theatreland:

"The Promise" by Aleksei Arbuzov.
Translated by Ariadne Nicolaeff and adapted by Nick Dear.
Broadcast 08/11/2009, 20:00 on BBC Radio 3.

As Russians fight off the Nazis in the savage 1942 siege of Leningrad, three teenagers are thrown together in a war-torn apartment block. Having lost everything, they forge relationships that bind them together and a new hope that keeps them alive - the promise of a better future.

Lika ...... Ruth Wilson
Leonidik ...... Harry Lloyd
Marat ...... Russell Tovey
Directed by Sasha Yevtushenko.


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