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Video: Vasily Merkuriev and Irina Meyerhold: Our own and other people's children, 44 years of selfless happiness and Stalinist repressions
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
Vasily Merkuriev and Irina Meyerhold were called Romeo and Juliet for their touching display of feelings. They lived in perfect harmony for 44 years, having managed to preserve both youthful ardor and adult tenderness. Their whole life has passed under the sign of endless kindness, which they generously shared with others.
It was love
Irina Meyerhold graduated from GITIS in 1927, and in 1929 she moved to Leningrad. There she taught biomechanics (stage movement) in several theaters and at a theater college, worked as a director at the Red Theater.
And on the stage of the Theater of Acting, Irina Vsevolodovna first saw Vasily Merkuriev. He impressed her so much that she began to go to all the performances with his participation. It so happened that at the same time she was given the task of luring the actor Merkuryev into the troupe of the Red Theater. But she couldn't. Irina Vsevolodovna understood that no one would let Merkuriev go, and it was even indecent to ask for it.
Fate brought Irina Vsevolodovna and Vasily Vasilyevich together only five years later. Meyerhold at that time worked at the Minsk Film Studio and came to the sanatorium to Merkuriev to offer him the role of Stas in the film "The Earth Ahead". He gave her hot tea with a bun and agreed to star in the film.
True, due to too much employment of the leading actor, the film crew was idle. Irina Vsevolodovna sent a telegram to the artist and was very upset not receiving an answer. But soon he himself appeared on the set. And Meyerhold suddenly realized that from now on her heart belongs to him.
On the day when, during the filming, Irina stopped and calmed the horse that carried the actor, Merkuryev realized that his fate was decided. They returned to Leningrad already together, and Vasily Vasilyevich settled in Irina Vsevolodovna's apartment on Tchaikovsky Street.
Happiness in spite of fate
For her, he was Vasya Vasich, Vasich, Vassenka, and she for him was Irisha, Irishechka. So they called each other until the last days of their lives. In 1934, Irina Meyerhold and Vasily Merkuriev became husband and wife. From the same year, they began their teaching activities at the theater institute, where they jointly supervised the acting workshop.
At first, the unsettled relationship between Vasily Vasilyevich and his father-in-law, the famous director Vsevolod Emilievich Meyerhold, eventually grew into the closest friendship. It got to the point that Meyerhold, invited to stage The Masquerade in Leningrad, refused to go to the rehearsal without Vasich. And each time, showing the actors how to play, he asked the opinion of his son-in-law, whether he managed to convey the idea or not.
At the end of the 30s, the couple actively taught, worked with young actors, laying the foundation for the creation of a new theater. Later, in different cities, Vasily Merkuryev and Irina Meyerhold will create more than one theatrical troupe.
In 1939, Irina's father was arrested, and the wife of Vsevolod Meyerhold was killed. A little earlier, the news came about the execution of Merkuryev's brother Peter. Vasich cried bitterly and for a long time, and then decided to adopt all three children of his brother. So the family had four children at once, and after the birth of the second daughter of the spouses, five. During the war, in evacuation, Merkuriev and Meyerhold will have a son. Peter was born right behind the scenes at a theater in the town of Kolpashevo, Tomsk Region.
From the evacuation they brought two more kids, who had fallen behind the train and had been picked up by Irina Vsevolodovna. Two years later, their mother will be found.
In addition to the children from the evacuation, Irina Meyerhold brought her own amateur theater group from Novosibirsk to Leningrad. They entered the theater institute with their full complement, and before being accommodated in the hostel they lived with Vasily Vasilyevich and Irina Vsevolodovna.
Since 1947, Irina Vsevolodovna was fired from everywhere, as the daughter of an enemy of the people. Vasily Vasilyevich agreed to all offers in order to feed his large family. He constantly played in the theater, acted in films, and in rare moments of rest he hurried to the dacha, which became a great help for the spouses.
A life of labor and love
They never complained about fate, did not grumble or blame anyone for their troubles. In 1959, Irina's father was rehabilitated and she was hired again. By that time, Vasily Merkuryev had already received the Stalin Prize three times for his film roles. True, the only thing that upset the actor was that the directors saw in him an exclusively comedic talent. And he dreamed of playing Othello.
The students of Vasily Vasilyevich and Irina Vsevolodovna still remember that the teachers did not separate them in any way from their own children. When the students came to rehearsals, the process did not begin until all the children (their own and others') had been fed.
Merkuryev and Meyerhold retained their feelings until the last days of their lives. They felt each other as if they had one soul for two. Even during a visit to the doctor, when the doctor asked exactly how something hurt Vasily Vasilyevich, he hesitated, asked to tell Irina Vsevolodovna about it.
He left on May 12, 1978. She survived him by three and a half years, having left this world on November 21, 1981. Until the last day, she worried whether she would meet in that other world, with her Vasechka or not.
The love story of Vasily Merkuriev and Irina Meyerhold is unique in its kind. How unique and echo of eternal love
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