Forever by Elmar Maripuu
Forever is a play in two acts. Each act is a self-contained story, with the same actors playing different characters in a different place and time. In both stories the action is driven by an instant of decision leading to a lifetime of commitment. Both stories reflect the momentous impact of the Bolshevik Revolution on the history of the 20th century.
In March 1940 Henry and Maude try to forget about the war and enjoy a nice weekend in the picturesque English village where they live. Unexpectedly Celia, Maude’s best friend from her university days, shows up on their doorstep. This is deuced awkward because Henry’s job at the Foreign Office is frightfully hush-hush. If the security chaps find out, they will kick up no end of a fuss, given that Celia and her husband Desmond are Communists. To make matters worse, Desmond – a talented writer with a well-earned reputation for bravery in the Spanish Civil War – arrives shortly afterwards in ill-tempered pursuit of his wife. Why does Celia warn Henry that they should keep a watchful eye on their respective spouses? Why did Maude stop going to London to take art appreciation classes? Why are the French planning to bomb Baku and does Henry even know where Baku is?
In 1956 a metallurgical complex in Sverdlovsk is hosting a lively reception for distinguished visitors from England. Nadia’s husband is Director of the complex, a reward for his adroit transition from hardline Stalinist to stalwart supporter of Khrushchev’s reforms. Nadia sees the reception as an opportunity for her sister Elena, amnestied after several years in the Gulag, to put the past behind her. Perhaps she will meet a man with an unblemished record of loyalty to the Party and prospects for advancement through the ranks of the bureaucracy. Instead Elena meets Boris Sergeievitch, currently sitting in a pile of broken furniture and shattered glass after a drunken attempt to demonstrate traditional Cossack dances for the distinguished visitors. How will Boris Sergeievitch react when he learns about Elena’s past? And why must Elena keep justifying her enjoyment of the evening to an invisible companion who refuses to leave her alone?
Keywords: World War II,spies,Communists,Gulag