Lubov Orlova: Virtual Museum

Theatrical Roles

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Lubov Orlova - Miss Pat

"I’ll never be older than 39, not a day older!" (Mrs. Patrick Campbell, English actress)

"One of my plays was produced on the stage in the Academic Theatre named after Mossovet in 1970-s. Once I had been going by elevator in the Theatre and one woman had entered the elevator. She was in dark glasses. I couldn't recognize her and puzzled over the riddle: who was she? I knew quite well a lot of actresses of the Theatre but couldn't yet identify that lady. Her fugure was svelte and perfectly-formed, her legs were lovely, her clothes was fantastic. We had got off the elevator and she had taken glasses off. I shrieked out: "A-a!!!" She had asked: "What's happened with you?" It was Lyubov Orlova and she was 70."

Vitaly Vulf, a famous Russian art reviewer and playwright







Roles in plays at the Academic Theatre named after Mossovet, director Yuri Zavadski


“Lizzie McKay”, (first Orlova’s appearance – 1955). A play “La Prostitute Respectuese” of a playwright Jean-Paul Sartre ( France ). Directors – Irina Anisimova-Vulf and Grigori Alexandrov. Lyubov Orlova plays a part of Lizzie.

Jean-Paul Sartre – one of the best-known and most discussed modern French writers and thinkers – was born in Paris in 1905. His friendship with Simone de Beauvoir, whom he met while studying philosophy at the Sorbonne, stretched over fifty years, until his death in 1980. He is perhaps best remembered as the founder of French existentialism and as a man of passion, fighting for what he believed in. Among his best known works are La Nausee (1938), Les Mouches (1943), Huis clos (1944) and the trilogy Les Chemins de la liberté; published in Penguin as The Age of Reason, The Reprieve and The Iron in the Soul.,,0_1000028008,00.html

The Respectable Prostitute, set in the Deep South of America, is concerned with racism, subjugation and the demands of conscience. Written by French playwright Jean Paul Sartre, The Respectable Prostitute depicts the life of a prostitute and an Afro-American, one a victim of society, the other of racial discrimination, and how their lives become intertwined by fate.

‘Nora”, (first Orlova’s appearance – 1958). A play “Doll’s House” of a playwright Henrik Ibsen ( Norway ). Director – Irina Anisimova-Vulf. Lyubov Orlova plays a part of Nora Helmer.


Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) was one of the most influential playwrights of his day. His concern was with the contemporary ethical problems underlying his society—that of a bourgoisie bloated with complacency, corrupted by its sense of moral superiority, wallowing in self-righteousness. By emphasizing the social significance of these problems and the human tragedies that result, he achieved a universality that elevated him from Norwegian dramatist of limited scope to one of international appeal.

In A Doll's House (1879), Nora Helmer is the epitome of the bourgeoise wife: pretty, happily empty-headed, devoted to her children, worshipful of her husband, Torvald . She is content to devote herself to him; to take his opinions, his tastes as her own. In effect, she has sacrificed her identity to him. He, in turn, regards her as his “squirrel,” his “singing bird,” a little doll, who cannot to be taken seriously, because, of course, she’s not supposed to be serious. That would mean she has a mind and a personality of her own, and that goes against the “rules” of their society. So she lives safely coccooned from the world, until forces she unwittingly sets in motion destroy that world and she comes face to face with the reality of her life.

The plot, seemingly simple, becomes increasingly complex, as layers of deceit are revealed. Years earlier, Nora’s husband, Torvald, was in need of help. Unbeknownst to him, she contracted a debt to meet this need. She brags to her friend Kristine Linde that her husband knows nothing about the debt and she secretly has taken in work to pay it off. She is proud that she of this accomplishment and speaks of how much pleasure it gave her to work “just like a man.”

It is Nora who carries the play, its success—or failure—rests on her shoulders. She is properly childlike at the beginning, prone to telling her husband little white lies, fully believing in Torvald’s ability (indeed, his willingness) to keep her safe. But this belief is challenged when Nils Krogstad, the man she borrowed the money from, shows up and threatens to destroy her unless she prevents Torvald from firing him. For the first time in her life she must deal with a serious problem on her own. At first, she believes she can keep her life the way it is by keeping Krogstad at bay and lying to Torvald to keep him from finding out her secret. As she struggles to keep Krogstad at bay and Torvald ignorant of her dilemma the facade she presents to the world begins to crumble. By the end of the play, we have seen Nora’s transition into an adult woman who fully understands the price of that adulthood and is willing to pay it.

One of the best-known, most frequently performed of modern plays, displaying Ibsen’s genius for realistic prose drama. A classic expression of women’s rights, the play builds to a climax in which the central character, Nora, rejects a smothering marriage and life in "a doll’s house."

Download text of Doll’s House A Play by Henrik Ibsen


Lizzie McKay

Lisie McKay

Lisie McKay

Lisie McKay

Nora (Doll's House)



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