Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky



  • (1893 - 1930) Soviet poet, who became a major playwrightof the Futurism movement. Mayakovsky's Mystery-Bouffe,produced in Moscow in 1918, is usually considered the first Sovietplay. It depicted the triumph of the Unclean (proletarians) over theClean (bourgeois) and parodied the Bible, the last scene showing theproletariat entering the Promised Land.

    Although he was a fierce supporter of the Revolution and theBolshevik regime, Mayakovsky later wrote two controversial plays satirizingSoviet bureaucracy. The Bedbug (Klop; 1929) showed the bedbugand the bourgeois, both survivors of the past, adjusting to the newregime. The Bath House (Banya; 1930) also satirizedthe survival of bourgeois traits in Soviet life.

    The failure of these plays, the disapproval of the Sovietauthorities, and a failed love affair, led Mayakovsky to shoot himselfat the age of 37. After Stalin's death Soviet officials rehabilitatedMayakovsky and in 1954 Moscow's Theatre of the Revolution was renamedin his honour.