Down with the Foxtrot! Concepts of Satire in the Soviet Theatre of the 1920s

  • J. A. E. Curtis


The first anniversary in 1918 of the October Revolution was the occasion for the performance in Petrograd of what is generally held to be the earliest substantial post-Revolutionary satirical work, Mayakovsky’s anti-religious pageant Mystery-Bouffe (‘Misteriyabuff’). But such innovative epic undertakings, like the new outdoor spectacles for mass audiences, were to have little significant impact on theatrical developments during the mid-1920s period of the New Economic Policy (NEP), not least because of the financial and organisational difficulties these productions presented. Instead, smaller-scale events — such as Mayakovsky himself would also contribute to — became the real focus for satirical work during most of the 1920s.


October Revolution Soviet People Organisational Difficulty Soviet Power Soviet Literature 
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  1. 2.
    From a letter of 22 December 1918 published in Iskusstvo kommuny, quoted in M. Frost, ‘Marc Chagall and the Jewish State Chamber Theatre’, Russian History, vol. VIII, nos 1-2 (1981) p. 93.Google Scholar
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    Yu. Dmitriyev, ‘Teatry komedii i satiry’, in Ocherki istorii russkogo sovetskogo dramaticheskogo teatra, vol. I: 1917–34 (Moscow, 1954) p. 380.Google Scholar
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1990

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  • J. A. E. Curtis

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