The Woman in the Dunes

based on the novel by Kobo Abe; trans. N. Grivnina



Mobius Strip - Yurii Shipkov

Man - Aleksandr Tsitskun

Woman - Angelina Zakeryaeva


Director/Designer - Vyacheslav Komarnitsky

The Woman in the Dunes is a joint production of BNT and St Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy.


This production of The Woman in the Dunes, based on Kobo Abe's 1962 novel, is about the intersection of two worlds: the world of freedom, and the world of slavery - which ultimately triumphs. It is the story of a free man, whose conception of the world changes forever in a moment, changes under the totalitarian yoke of a primitive society, where change is impossible. Where any attempts to bring about change are mocked and cruelly suppressed. 

This man has fallen out of that huge agglomeration we call the world, into a desert place. All his connections to the world are cut off forever. His wife, relations, friends and colleagues soon forget him, because as a small individual in the big world, he was always forgettable. On the other hand, in a small village beseiged by sand storms, his hands are needed to clear the sand away.

A nameless woman, whose interests are limited to the preparation of food and the removal of sand from the pit where she lives, has absorbed the laws of her community. The man's efforts to explain to her where she is wrong, to seek his own freedom, seem to her empty and unnecessary. She has no wish to be robbed of her sandy illusions.

The animal instinct common to all humans brings them closer with time. And the man's strong will to live free is gradually replaced with the ideology of slavery, a falling of spirit, acceptance of his lot.

The piece was rehearsed in Saint Petersburg from December to February 2017, and performed in February 2017.

- Vyacheslav Komarnitsky