I adore Ranevskaya for her sparkling humor, for her forged living position. But she was an unknown actress, when she was in the Crimea during the Civil War and asked the Bolsheviks for her colleagues to have at least a little food. Military people were, according to her impressions, the most grateful listeners.
In the newspaper playbills of that time it became traditional to give information of the following nature: "Entrance to the theater is allowed in the upper dress", and vice versa: "The theater is heated" (although the latter was extremely rare, closer to the end of the Civil War).
In the most difficult conditions of wartime, the intelligentsia of Russia not only continued to conduct creative work: put on performances, organize exhibitions, write scientific works, but actively engaged in social activities, trying to find a common language with any political power for the sake of saving Russia, without losing its face and not allowing you to manipulate your beliefs. Thus, in his appeal to all those who were not indifferent to the interests of art, Alexander Kudryashov addressed: “Plato’s beautiful words that the world will not be perfect until the kings philosophize or philosophers reign, remain the motto of many. Always sharing this point of view, I would like to offer everyone for whom the interests of art are dear, whether poetry or painting and music, join their forces in the Union of Art Lovers. ”
The civil war also passed through the Crimean peninsula: the Soviet Socialist Republic of Tavrida (January-April, 1918); the period of the German occupation (May-November 1918 of the year); military intervention of the Entente in the Crimea (November 1918 - April 1919 of the year); Crimean Soviet Socialist Republic (April-June 1919 of the year); the Denikin period (April-November 1920 of the year); Wrangell and his rout in the Battle of Perekop (April-November 1920).
Evidence of the outstanding heroism of those years is the local Crimean press, in which every now and then printed posters about free charity performances, concerts, holidays to the fund for the wounded, starving, orphans and other funds were printed. So, on the pages of the newspaper “Tavrichesky Golos” for 9 January 1920, it is said that in the Theater of the actor in Simferopol during the performance “The Dark Spot”, which was a great success, the beneficiary A.P. Volzhin appealed to the public with a request to make donations to fight the typhus epidemic, as a result of which the theater artists made a collection of donations from the public, which gave 6734 rubles 45 kopecks. The sum was transferred to the secretary of the brigade of the state guard I.K. Kravchenko to provide the governor.
The years of fratricidal Civil War brought death and destruction to Russia and in particular to the Crimea. But at the same time during this period there was a great spiritual, cultural and intellectual upsurge on the peninsula. One reason for this was the concentration in the Tauride province of all the power of the Russian scientific and creative intelligentsia. In fairness it should be noted that the first university in Crimea was opened on the peninsula in 1918. And in the same year, one of the performances, namely the play “The Power of Darkness” based on the play by L. Tolstoy, was given by the forces of the Drama Theater (formerly the Noble) troupe “in favor of the Simferopol National University”. Vladimir Vernadsky, Maximilian Voloshin, Anna Akhmatova, Konstantin Trenyov, Nikolai Samokish - these are the names included in our gold coin box stories, whose fates are closely connected with the Crimea during the period of revolutions and the Civil War.
Scary pages remained 1918-1921 peninsula in the fate of the great Russian actress Faina Ranevskaya. In Crimea, the future famous actress was long before the beginning of the Civil War, at a young age with her family. And, of course, it was the summer months of rest, when more or less wealthy families rushed to the pearl coast. The exception was not the family of Grisha Feldman from Taganrog (father of Faina Georgievna). So, in the summer of 1910 of the year, resting in Evpatoria, 15-year-old Fanny simply fell in love with Alisa Koonen, a young actress at the Moscow Art Theater, who was vacationing at the house of her relatives Andreevs then.
Even as a child, Faina Georgievna showed abilities for performing arts, now and then parodying someone, imitating someone, without knowing that it was the acting craft that would become her fate until the end of her days.
After unsuccessful trials and attempts to enter acting classes in Moscow, she happened to be in the Malakhovsky suburban theater in the Moscow region for the summer season, where she appeared on the stage in crowd scenes. But this happy time ended as quickly as the summer itself, and Faina Georgievna, after long ordeal, signed an agreement for 35 rubles a month “with her wardrobe” for the role of “heroine-coquette” with singing and dancing to the enterprise entrepreneur in Kerch. Here she managed to play only one season, since there were practically no fees: the theater at that time was always empty. At the closing of the theater was a play "Under the sun of the south." Faina played the high school student in this production. The performance came to see an entrepreneur from Theodosia Novozhilov joining her troupe in order to select the actors she liked, and as a result, “having sold her entire wardrobe,” she moved from Kerch to Feodosia. But here, too, failure awaited her. At the end of the theatrical season Novozhilov fled from Feodosia, without paying a penny to the actors. Due to the prevailing circumstances, Faina Georgievna was forced to leave the sunny, but this time inhospitable peninsula and move to Kislovodsk. So ended the first, but not the last actor page in the Crimea for the actress.
The October Revolution and the great changes found Ranevskaya in Rostov. But that moment she managed to meet and make friends with a woman who became for her one of the closest few friends, or rather, the closest person - actress Paul Wolfe.
"Red Crimea" - the most terrible memory of Faina. That is why she did not leave us the book of her life, ruthlessly breaking her into small pieces overnight. But many fateful moments connect the actress with the Crimea.
The fact that in the Crimea she took the stage name Ranevskaya is not widely known.
In 1920, Faina Georgievna played on the stage of the First Soviet Theater (now the Crimean Academic Russian Drama Theater named after M. Gorky). Director PA Rudin as a sign of gratitude for the cooperation and creative tandem aspiring actress presented the book, signing it like this: “Faina Ranevskaya”. Arguing over why the actress took with her stage pseudonym the name of the Chekhovian heroine from “The Cherry Orchard”, in which she so often played on the Crimean stage in Simferopol, and in Yevpatoria, and in Kerch, you understand that this is not accidental: Faina Georgievna, and Lyubov Andreevna united such traits as enthusiasm, emotionality, helplessness.
Faina Georgievna in her Crimean period was a beginning, obscure actress, as evidenced by the absence in the posters of the Crimean periodical press of that time at least some mention of her as an acting actress on the staff of the theater troupe. However, the Yalta Evening newspaper for 15 September 1920 of the year in the poster about the opening of the winter season speaks about the first tour of the troupe of actress Pavla Wulf, with whom Ranevskaya performed.
The first scenic steps Ranevskaya not always been successful. So, after one of the biggest setbacks on the Crimean stage, she vowed to herself that she would not take the stage anymore. She told how she nearly failed her first theater season in Crimea, when, during the play's action, she had to say that her legs were easier to fluff, and she caught the set, which fell on her partner's head and made the audience laugh. After that, she told herself that she would never come on stage again.
But her life went on, and the ineradicable desire to get back on the scene again prevailed, overcoming the fear of doing something wrong.
Subsequently, she in her memoirs will describe another curious incident that occurred to her in the Crimea. Together with her partners she performed at the children's party and had a lot of fun for the children when she caught her wig on the nail, the wig flew off and floated on the water. Faina began to laugh terribly, she laughed even behind the curtain, where her angry partners dragged her off. For this offense she was punished: an order appeared on the notice board signed by the chairman of the local committee. And Faina read in it that she was reprimanded and warned. And again, after that, she did not want to go on stage.
A civil war raged around, which lasted for four years in Crimea: “18, 19, 20, 21 year - Crimea - famine, typhoid, cholera, power changes, terror: played in Simferopol, Evpatoria, Sevastopol, in winter the theater does not heat , on the way to the theater on the street, swollen, dying, dead, dead horse in the middle of the street, stench. ” Or read the lines: “I went to the theater, trying not to step on those who died of starvation. They lived in the monastery cell, the monastery itself was empty, extinct from typhus, from hunger, from cholera. Now there is no one alive with whom then in the Crimea they suffered from hunger, cold, with a smoker. ”
And yet it must be said that Ranevskaya recalls the Crimea of the twenties as one of the most special periods of her life, “a terrible and unique beautiful time”. She emphasized the positive emotions of the military public, a warm welcome after each performance. The case when, after another light vaudeville, the “formidable mustache commissar” came backstage, and asked to play “something from the classics”, remained in her memory. A few days later, the Simferopol troupe set up the Seagull.
“It is not difficult to imagine,” the actress recalled, “what kind of performance it was for the quality of performance, but I didn’t know such a quiet hall before, and after the end, the hall shouted“ Hurray! ” In those moments it seemed to me that I touched the story with my heart. ”
After the performance, behind the curtains, the artists again thanked the Commissioner: "Comrades artists, our division commander, in a sign of gratitude to you and with an appeal to continue your holy deed, ordered me to issue a Red Army ration." Subsequently, the great actress will call this unforgettable event "the final dedication to the Soviet theater," and work on the stage will be a holy deed for the whole of her creative life. "
Crimea, in addition to the most severe living conditions, presented the Ranev meeting and acquaintance with extraordinary people, already known at that time, talented people, but most importantly, sympathetic, highly moral, intelligent. On the pages of her diary, the actress remembers Maximilian Voloshin with warmth and tenderness, who did not let her and Pavel Wulf die in the Crimea from hunger during the period of military communism: “All these days she remembered Max Voloshin with his wonderful childish and some kind of apologetic smile. In the morning he appeared with a backpack on his back. In the backpack there were little fish wrapped in a newspaper, called a cashier, and there was bread, if that mess could be called bread. There was also a bottle of castor oil, hardly obtained by him in the pharmacy. Fish fried in castorca. It made such a terrible smell that I, losing consciousness from hunger, still ran from these castor fish into a neighboring yard. I remember how he was upset by this. And I was looking for new opportunities to feed me. ”
In the Crimea scorched by war, Ranevskaya met with the composer A.A. Spendiarov. It was in Feodosia, where the composer came in the hope of giving concerts and earning at least some money. Faina Georgievna helped Spendiarov to organize one concert, in which only three people were sitting in the auditorium: Ranevskaya. Her student Paul Wolfe. Ranevskaya recalled that after the concert the maestro said: “I am happy! What was the first violin, how he played well! ”Faina Georgievna, because of her youth, was very surprised at such an assessment, because as a result the concert did not bring the expected fees. And in order to somehow help the composer in this situation, the actress appealed to the commissioner, who ordered to give him a lot of flour and cereals.
With warmth and tenderness Ranevskaya remembers acquaintance and friendship with K.A. Trenev, who once brought his first play to Pavle Wulf, at that time playing in the local theater of the city of Simferopol. Faina Georgievna noticed that the playwright was very embarrassed, often apologized and called his play “a sinner”. In my long life I don’t remember that I treated any of the contemporary playwrights as gently and gratefully as I did Trenov, ”wrote Ranevskaya in her diary.
All these terrible years of hunger and needs in the Crimea, Ranevskaya lived in the family of Pavel Wulf, who, being an accomplished actress at that time, shared her table with her budding colleague, friend and close friend, despite the fact that Pavla herself Leontievna in her arms was young daughter Irina.
The Crimean period of life ended for Ranevskaya and Wulf in 1923. They went to Kazan for the winter period of 1923-1924. The famine was over by that time, the NEP began, but still the actresses, as wandering pilgrims, set off on the road in search of a better life.