Slava’s Diablo


Terry Gilliam is putting together a new show with celebrated Russian clown Slava Polunin.

Slava Polunin in “Snowshow”

Gilliam sent the following to Dreams at the end of February 2006:

“I’ve joined the circus. I am co-directing Slava Polunin’s new show, Diabolo. Slava is the most famous, most wonderfully profound Russian clown. He is very famous for his current show, Snowshow, which has played all over the world and is still playing in New York.

“We are currently rehearsing the new show in his extraordinary house/chateau/fantasyland not far from Paris Disneyland and not far from the location of Sam Lowry’s flat in Brazil. In a few days we leave for Israel. Diabolo will play for two weeks in Tel Aviv in the Noga Theatre starting from March 2.”

Click on Polunin’s website for more information.

There is a new interview with Gilliam in the February 23 edition of Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, available online

Further, here is some text from Israeli website Ynet, dated January 15th. Translated into English by Nadav Lazar.

Gilliam is taking part in the new theatrical show of the Russian artist, and will attend the premiere at the Noga theatre. The American director and screenwriter will arrive in Israel in March as part of a new production of the fantasy theatre of Russian performance artist Slava Polunin.

Following the great success of Polunin’s previous show in Israel, “Slava’s Snow Show”, Polunin has decided to have the world premiere of his new production done in Israel. Unlike the former show, the new one is intended for a mature audience only. This year’s Polunin’s fantasy will be hosted by the “Gesher” theatre company [an internationally acclaimed company, managed mostly by Russians immigrants – NL], and the production will take place at their theatre in Jaffa [south side of Tel Aviv – NL].

Gilliam, who is well known for his fantasy works and for creating unforgettable visual worlds, was a co-writer and director of the Monty Python films (“Holy Grail” and “The Meaning Of Life”). His long filmography includes visions just as surreal and subversive such as “Brazil”, “12 Monkeys”, “Fisher King”, “The Brothers Grimm”, “Baron Munchausen” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”.

In the new Polunin show, “Diabolo”, Gilliam is in charge of the special effects. “Slava has been a friend of mine for years”, Gilliam told Ynet, “We’ve co-operated before when I was a guest in his clown festival in St. Petersburg in 2001. For a while now we’ve been toying around with several ideas which eventually led to the current production. It’s a fascinating fantasy show about a struggle between good and evil, about the clown and the devil who sometime take each other’s roles”.

Despite being recognized mostly for being a filmmaker, the cooperation with Polunin, it turns out, has greatly affected his perception. “The clowns in today’s reality are more important than films”, he says.

Gilliam will attend the world premiere of “Diabolo” in Israel on March 3rd. The show will take place at the Noga theatre in Jaffa for two weeks. During this period the “Gesher” theatre company productions will appear elsewhere around the country.

More to explore

Films in depth

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
The Zero Theorem
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
The Brothers Grimm
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas
12 Monkeys
The Fisher King
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Time Bandits