© Ira Polyarnaya

Program Information

Genre / City Theatre / Moscow
Dates 5 May at 14:30, 6 May at 13:30
Venue at Shizuoka Arts Theatre
Duration 150 minutes (including pre-lecture)
Language In Russian with Japanese subtitles
seat Reserved seating
Direction, scenography, dramaturgy Kirill SEREBRENNIKOV
Production M.ART (Modern Artlife Foundation)
© Ira Polyarnaya
© Ira Polyarnaya
© Ira Polyarnaya


A great homage to Chinese photographer Ren Hang by the Russian theatre and film director.

Kirill SEREBRENNIKOV, who became known around the world when suggestions of fraud involving a state subsidy to his theatre led to him being placed under house arrest in 2017. However, even despite that, the Russiandramatist has never stopped presenting his works on stage and screen, with a new film titled “The Summer” becoming a hot topic at the Cannes International Film Festival in France in 2018, just a year after his detention.
Meanwhile, SEREBRENNIKOV had long been interested in the late Chinese photographer and poet REN Hang, whose life inspired him to create “OUTSIDE” for the theatre. REN’s works included aesthetic and poetic nude photos, even though such explicitly sexual subjects are a powerful taboo in China. Tragically, however, he hanged himself at the age of 29.
In “OUTSIDE,” SEREBRENNIKOV imaginatively uses music and dance to express RENs sparkling words about topics such as love and death, sex and loneliness — but then ensures a message of protest against the authorities comes glinting through as well.
In witnessing this work, audiences will may well sense something very pure, naïve and absolutely beautiful that both artists’ spirits share.


A man is confined in an apartment room. Light from the window casts a shadow on the wall that gradually transforms into the shape of the Chinese photographer and poet Ren Hang, who hanged himself at the age of 29. The shadow asks the man to step out of the room, then amid flashing lights and images a dancer with an enormous bottom and elephant-like legs, an American photographer called Robert, and a character portraying Hang’s mother loudly denying her son’s death appear on stage. What was driving Hang — a man in emotional turmoil, caught between the authorities’ oppression and his love for his country and his family?

Director’s Profile

Kirill SEREBRENNIKOV has staged drama productions in Moscow Chekhov Theatre, Latvian National Theatre, Theatre of Nations, Gogol-center. He has been active in opera staging productions for the Mariinsky Theatre and the Bolshoi Theatre in Russia, where he has also been a stage director and a designer for a ballet, Komische Oper Berlin, Stuttgart Opera, Staatsoper Hamburg in Germany and Operhaus Zurich in Switzerland.
Kirill SEREBRENNIKOV is one of the artistic directors of Territory Festival in Moscow. Since 2008 he had a class of actors and directors in Moscow Art Theatre Drama School.
His productions were presented in Wiener Festwochen, Avignon Theatre Festival, BITEF and various theatre festivals. Laureate to Benois de la Danse (for the ballet «Nureyev», 2018), main prize of the Rome festival (for the film «Playing the Victim», 2006), award winner at the Locarno festival (for the film «Yuriyev day» 2008), participant of the Venice Film Festival, Cannes film festival, awarded with The European Prize New Theatrical Realities and many others.
In 2012 Kirill SEREBRENNIKOV created and became artistic director of Gogol Center.
In 2018 Kirill SEREBRENNIKOV became the Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters.

Ren HANG’s profile

Ren Hang
A self-taught poet and photographer, Ren Hang was born in China in 1987 and lived in Beijing. Often banned, his subtle compositions feature bodies set against urban or natural backgrounds with a mix of eroticism, distance, and humour. His poetic images are known throughout the world for their great sense of freedom. Ren Hang committed suicide in 2017.


“The border Chinese photographer Ren Hang (1987–2017) aimed to cross.”
5 May 14:30~, 6 May 13:30~ at Shizuoka Arts Theatre

Cast / Staff

Direction, scenography, dramaturgy: Kirill SEREBRENNIKOV
Choreography: Ivan ESTEGNEEV and Evgeny KULAGIN
Music: Ilya DEMUTSKY
Costumes: Tatiana DOLMATOVSKAYA
Lights: Serguey KOUCHER
Stage direction: Anna SHALASHOVA


Production: M.ART (Modern Artlife Foundation)
Co-production: Festival d’Avignon
With the support of Gogol Center

Subtitle translation: UEDA Yoko
Interpretation: IRIE Mariko


*Some scenes can offend the sensibility of the youngest. Not recommended for children under the age of 18.
*Due to the nature of its content, this performance includes an obligatory 15-minutes pre-show lecture. Admission is conditional on attending this lecture.

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