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Entries / Raykin A.I., (1911-1987), actor

Raykin A.I., (1911-1987), actor

Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Personalia

RAYKIN Arkady Isaakovich (1911-1987), actor and variety performer, People's Artist of the USSR (1968), Hero of Socialist Labour (1981). Lived in Petrograd from 1922. Graduated from the Leningrad Dramatics School (1935; today Academy of Dramatic Art), worked as an actor at the Leningrad Theatre of Working Youth and the New Theatre. At the same time, he gave a variety of compere and intermezzo performances. In 1939, became a laureate of the First All-Union Contest for Variety Actors. One of the founders of the Leningrad Theatre of Variety and Miniatures (1939; from 1944, the Leningrad Theatre of Miniatures, renamed the State Theatre of Miniatures in 1981 after his move to Moscow, renamed Satirikon in 1987, and named after A.I. Raykin 1991). He headed the theatre from 1942 until the end of his life. Raykin is generally acclaimed as a leading Russian variety performer in the satire genre, has been credited with a perfect use of masks, a mastery of pantomime and transformation techniques, as well as a rhythmic, dynamic speech and tone. A brilliant actor, master of stage eccentrics, clowning, and the grotesque. Performed in parodies, monologues, satirical sketches and songs, and appeared in dramatic miniatures. At the point of creative maturity, he preferred a direct relationship with the public. In many sketches he played several alternating characters connected by topic and plot (like, Magicians Live Next Door, 1964). Separate characters were revealed through a montage of reflections of the characters' own lives (Human Life in the play Love and Three Oranges, 1959). He often interlaced his caricature characters with lyrical digressions, considering lyricism to be an indispensable foundation of satire (Over a Cup of Tea, 1954; From Two to Fifty, 1961). He created an entire new form in variety theatre, collaborating with such authors as M.M. Zhvanetsky, V.S. Polyakov, and many others. Raykin's Theatre didn't have its own premises in Leningrad until 1987, giving performances on the stage of the Variety Theatre and in various cultural houses, and also touring annually to Moscow and other towns. During the war, Raykin and his theatre gave performances for army units of the front. Raykin's last performance was Peace to Your House. He also gave broadcast talks and appeared in films. He was the focus of two documentaries, Arkady Raykin (1967 and 1975), and a co-author of a four-part film for television called People and Mannequins (1975). He wrote the memoirs called Memories (Saint Petersburg, 1993, and Moscow, 1998), and was awarded the Lenin Prize (1980). In 1956-86, he lived at 17 Kirovsky Avenue (today Kamennoostrovsky Avenue, memorial plaque installed).

References: Уварова Е. Д. Аркадий Райкин. 2-е изд., уточн. и доп. М., 1992; Аркадий Райкин в воспоминаниях современников. М., 1997.

A. A. Kirillov.

Polyakov V.S.
Raykin Arkady Isaakovich
Zhvanetsky Mikhail Mikhailovich

Kamennoostrovsky Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 17

Аркадий Райкин в воспоминаниях современников. М., 1997
Уварова Е. Д. Аркадий Райкин. 2-е изд., уточн. и доп. М., 1992