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In the world of Eastern European theatre, one production is capturing the attention of audiences worldwide with its thought-provoking exploration of manipulation and hidden histories. “Cremulator” is an independent project born out of the collective experiences of theatre artists from Eastern Europe. Drawing on the diverse cultures that shape the region, the production delves into the blurred lines between truth and fabrication.

Based on the novel by Belarusian-Swiss writer Sasha Filipenko, “Cremulator” takes inspiration from the interrogation protocols of the director of the first crematorium in the USSR. The narrative revolves around Pyotr Nesterenko, a White Guard officer who embarks on a journey of emigration after the October Revolution. From Constantinople to Belgrade and Paris, Nesterenko’s path leads him back to Moscow, where he is appointed as the director of the city’s inaugural crematorium.

However, Nesterenko’s role is more complex than it seems. He becomes the public face of a “progressive” and “revolutionary” method of saying goodbye to the deceased through cremation. During the day, he carries out the cremations of ordinary people and even prominent Soviet figures like Mayakovsky. But under the cover of darkness, Nesterenko secretly disposes of those labeled as “enemies of the people” by the regime.

Through its exploration of manipulation and selective truth, “Cremulator” exposes the burning, distortion, and erasure of historical narratives. It raises poignant questions about the authenticity of recorded histories and the power dynamics that shape them. In a world where information can be easily distorted, this production serves as a reminder to critically examine the stories we encounter and to seek out the hidden truths lurking beneath the surface.