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Charlie Chaplin’s grandson to perform at Moscow’s International Chekhov Festival

June 27, 2017, 12:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In addition to being a clown, acrobat and mime, he is a dancer and poet, and a regular at the Chekhov festival

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James Thierree

James Thierree

© AP Photo/Jacques Brinon

MOSCOW, June 27. /TASS/. The grandson of the legendary comic actor Charlie Chaplin, James Thierree is among the headline acts at the International Chekhov Theater Festival, the festival’s press service told TASS.

James Thierree is practically a jack of all trades. In addition to being a clown, acrobat and mime, he is a dancer and poet, and a regular at the Chekhov festival, and 2017 marks his fourth annual appearance. This year he has brought his staging of The Toad Knew, a production of which he is the director, stage designer, composer of the original music, as well as a performer. The show June 26-30 on the stage of the Mossovet Theater.

Thierree, 43, was nominated for the prestigious Moliere Award as ‘best theater director’ for the Toad Knew. He says that in this performance "little secrets will definitely eat big secrets, it’s obvious." "We will gradually speak about an underground creature, that because of his curiosity towards humans, trusted them and was betrayed, and its heart was broken," the award-winning performing artist explained.

Critics are calling The Toad Knew Thierree’s best work, in which the artist is "capable of performing exquisite cubits in the air, while not parting with his violin, then flying over the piano, shaking out fountains of salt out of his ears and weave together in movements with his twin sister." Reviews have said that the audience gets lost in time and reality, teetering on the verge of dreams and nightmares. "What’s important here is not to fully understand what is happening, but to feel the breath of this timeless, spectacular performance," reviewers write.

Thierree is thrilled to return to the festival, especially since it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary. "To be in the most theatrical country, in the heart of theater, you can imagine what that means for a person like me, who literally grew up backstage," he wrote.

The International Chekhov Theater festival opened its doors for the 13th time in May, while its organizers are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the festival’s actual inception. Among its participants are directors Peter Brook, Robert Lepage, Philippe Genty, grandson of the great Charlie Chaplin James Thierree and other world renown artists.

"Despite its 13th run, the upcoming festival is a jubilee for us," Valery Shadrin, head of the festival, told TASS earlier.

He reiterated that so far the organizers have been able to bring over 500 shows from 52 countries to Moscow, with the festival having earned its place among the world’s largest theater forums.

This year theatergoers will be able to see 22 performances over the course of two months, while some of the productions will go on the road to Yekaterinburg and Voronezh.

The Chekhov festival runs every other year, since preparation that goes into putting together a program of this magnitude requires enormous effort and human resources.

Ahead of the festival’s launch, an outdoor photo exhibit has been set in Moscow, showcasing more than 80 memorable images from over the years.

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