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Tovarishch GORCH FOCK, 2012


Director: Maxim Afanasyev

Playwrights: Mykola Homanyuk and Stella Cristofolini

Composer: Rodion Krasnovyd

Trailer is here:

Performance video version:

The German bark “Gorch Fock-I”, received by the USSR as the reparations, was renamed into “Tovarishch-II” and served as a training vessel of the Soviet maritime college. The cadets from all over the country passed the practical training there. She was both a school of life and one of the brightest events in their youth. The beautiful white bark “Tovarishch” (the name means “friend” and “comrade”) was a symbol and pride of the inhabitants of Kherson, which was a home port of the bark. After the USSR collapsed the Tovarishch made the Ukrainian colors. But that was not enough. The vessel needed a serious repair. Thus the Tovarishch went abroad and did not come back. As a result the government, actually, left its tall ship and her crew overseas on her own. After several years of numerous trials the Tovarishch was sold by the Russian company and sailed to Germany. But she did not participate in regattas; instead she was turned into a floating restaurant. The efforts of her historical homeland to set her under sail failed. The marine romance was incompatible with the politic and economic reality. Nobody, except for a small group of enthusiasts, is anxious about the fate of the “Russian scrap”.

The real stories of seamen, who served on board the legendary sailing vessel, and the views of the residents of Kherson (UA) and Stralsund (D), the current port of registry of the bark, forced us to turn back to the past and think over the issues related to what happened with our countries and with us.

The play was created under support of the European Cultural Foundation.

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