On the eve of the International day of the circus we discussed with Edgard Zapashny all the key moments Manege things, namely: the completion of the trial with actor Nikolayev, impending major reconstruction of the Circus on Vernadsky, strengthening of access control in a building for the St. Petersburg attack, combat ticket touts…

photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

Edgard Zapashny.

So, the conflict with the actor Nikolayev settled (before Mr. rude said about the circus on TV)? He senses?

— There was a hearing at which Nikolaev was present, he apologized to me and the Great Moscow circus; the court ordered him to produce a written statement and to pay court costs. I went with him to the world in terms of the commercial: he was cleared of all material claims. Because for me this trial is not a reason to financially punish Nikolaev and earn money from it, but I just had to bring you to a normal feeling . He realized that he was wrong, that such behavior should not take place. Moreover, so — “if only”, indiscriminately. I decided this time to believe, and I hope that nothing I, nor my colleagues, the artists will not see to imagine such a relationship…

— Yes, he wrote that he regrets that his words have you taken on your account…

— Well, the interpretation is a bit strange, but the important thing is that he apologized (whatever form it may wear). I hope that Nikolaev quietly cleaned up at all positions.

— Coming large-scale reconstruction of the circus on Vernadsky?

— I met yesterday with the Minister Medinsky, we discussed joint funding for the preparation of the General plan of reconstruction (15 million rubles. give it plus the 15 million we allocated from own means), that is, 30 million will be allocated for design documentation. And a serious engineering company all cheated, will fulfill our wishes for the development of new space, the expansion space for the animals, for bringing the circus in order that all groups could move freely, primarily persons with disabilities. Because the circus today does not meet modern needs and requirements.

— And what about time?

The Minister said that within a month we transferred 15 million rubles, the rest you add yourself. And only then, after the preparation of design-estimate documentation will be clear, how much money we will need on the reconstruction, but I suspect that’s a few billion rubles (the amount is floating: the spread of estimates from different companies — from 4.5 to 12 billion rubles). About the timing of the repair can not say anything. First we have to go out for formal bids, and it is unlikely that the master plan will be completed in this season (it takes from six months to one year), there are many aspects of the approval Mosarchitecture, metro… Because we want to change the appearance of the circus, to give it a more modern look, in some places, “dig” a little deeper, to seek the construction of its hotels. Because of the order of 15 million rubles a year we spend just on rent housing for artists — apartment, hotel… the staff is big. And in order to save for the future I want to build on its territory a hotel with 200 artists.

— Whether this reconstruction is the replacement of the complex mechanisms of your unique removable playpens?

Is necessary, and it will be a major problem, because on this day we are still brother and I found a Russian manufacturer, and apparently we have to work with foreign (German or canadian) technology… the quality should be at a height that no accidents were not.

— Do you have the Great Moscow circus, the problem with the Resellers of tickets (because the Ministry of culture is now intensifying its efforts to deal with them)?

The fight against speculators, of course, is. This is unfortunate, because it creates the illusion of incredibly high prices. But now 65% of tickets to the Great Moscow circus we sell through our own website, this is a great achievement of our team. Because before there was a mafia structure, when the tickets manually torn off by the tellers, transmitted to dealers, the dealers stood within the circus, and then at the last moment unsold tickets suddenly surrendered to the cashier… Now point incidents are present, but less. Ticket mafia is a criminal structure, to the point that many years ago they killed the administrator of the circus on Vernadsky. Until the problem is 100% solved: sometimes a group of 20-30 people, and it turns out that these seats are occupied, we see children’s tears, the surprise of the adults, and our administrators in manual mode trying to isolate them, it is a trouble, especially if pure.

— Security measures in connection with the terrorist attacks reinforced?

— After the attacks we made an unscheduled test of our framework, contacted the manufacturer, they came, tested, increased the settings to a higher sensitivity. It is clear that this will create additional queue… so in the reconstruction it is necessary to consider this point — to increase the number of inputs to create a separate storage chamber at a distance etc. While the audience may be advisable to arrive early to queue up at the last moment. And most importantly, to treat all this with understanding and patience.

On the nose — the international day of circus. Mood, no matter what, positive?

— Today I saw reports on the circus in 2016 for all companies in the us, according to the Russian state circus company. General dynamics, compared with the crisis 2015, is in the direction of increasing the flow of people increases, the financial component, and in General interest in the circus is changing in a positive way. Over it began to work — active participation in social networks, conduct open days, a lot of charitable projects. Simultaneously, the dissolution of the substandard rooms are more rigid castings; and the result is obvious — in all international festivals of Russian artists is exclusively gold and silver awards, bronze almost comes to us from use. Russians raise the General level of world circus art.