Festival diary

Krapp’s Last Tape” by Samuel Beckett, directed by Jarosław Fret (Theatre ZAR, Poland) is a minimalist performance that asks questions about Beckett and his virtual world. “Why he has placed a tape recorder in “Krapp’s Last Tape”? Why bananas are the only organic thing in this play?” 
Breaking the Waves” by Vivian Nielsen, directed by Tom Dugdale, Hungarian Theatre of Cluj is a powerful, psychologically inserted performance about an extraordinary love and extreme religious probation. Now, watching back to the festival days I ask myself how come that in so many of the performances religious feelings and religious indoctrination in general have been questioned. 
OOOO – The Dream of Gogol”, Sfumato Theatre Laboratory, Sofia. Written and directed by Margarita Mladenova and Ivan Dobchev. 
Since 1989, when it was created by Margarita Mladenova and Ivan Dobchev Sfumato Theatre Laboratory has been conducting extensive theatrical researches based on different classical authors.
  “Toys: A Dark Fairy Tale” by Saviana Stănescu, directed by Gábor Tompa (J.U.S.T. Toys Productions, USA) together with the performance “This Beach” from the first day of the festival keep the living link between stage and real life. Those two contemporary texts witness for the damages that war can do over personal lives and destinies
Russian literature is famous for its desperate humanism, extreme idealism, religious questioning. It’s a virtual forum that (traditionally) rehabilitates and normalizes the moral norm in Russian society. Andrey Zvyagintsev's film “Leviathan” (2014) is a fresh example of how the political class considers individual life a negligible value in comparison with the objectives of the State; how ordinary people do not have any chance if they ask for attention, respect, justice. It seems to me that Yuri Kordonsky’s performance “The Lower Depths” based on Gorky’s play, continues this theme, so relevant to our days.
 I’m a stranger in Romania and I didn’t know anything about Urmuz till yesterday.
The Fuchsiad” after Urmuz... – it sounded so closed and distant to me; it evoked nothing. Just that Urmuz sounded somehow in Turkish and Fuchsiad – mythological. Then I saw that these strange names come from the German State Theatre, Timisoara and my instinctive suspiciousness vanished. I have followed the activity of this theatre since 2010 and I know that in their repertoire nothing is accidental. So, I expected something provocative and imaginative. 

The 5th day of the festival was the day of Gogol and Ionesco. A nice company. We all come out from Gogol's “Overcoat.” Dostoyevsky said. Ionesco cоme out from there too, for sure. “Rhinoceros”, staged by Frank Hoffmann at the National Theatre of Luxembourg shows us what’s happening when culture loses its convincing and regulating force. People refuse to bother with moral subjects, they prefer to become as natural as possible, as integral as possible. No doubts and no regrets, no thought and no judgment. Thus starts their transfiguration into rhinoceros. 

It was a great evening. Two balanced and intense performances with completely different rhythm and frame of mind. MEDEA on media” directed by Kim Hyuntak (Theatre Group Seongbukdong Beedoolkee, South Korea) shook us with its pop-culture enthusiasm, adding its completely unusual energy to the festival spirit. I had the impression that we were participating in a videoclip shooting or a taekwondo master class. 

Job based on Joseph Roth novel, directed by Lisa NielebockSchauspielhaus Bochum, Germany

Somehow the story is more attractive and dynamic than the visual side of the project. We hear the sad history of a sick Jewish boy and his family, told by seven actors in a linear way, with no moral or thematic accents. We are expected to orientate on our own. So much misfortune on this family? Why? What is the sin they are paying for? (the father asked that question).

During the 2nd day of the festival the macro-boarders of the theme of the stranger were mapped by Armin Petras’ performance “Nathan the wise” after Lessing (Schauspiel Stuttgart & Radu Stanca National Theatre, Sibiu) and the micro-plan (of how people from less developed EU countries are facing the challenge of economical migration) was drawn by the Hungarian performance “It’s not the time of my life”, (written & directed by Szabolcs HajduLátókép Ensemble). 

During the past two editions of the INTERFERENCES Theatre Festival we saw a series of meditative performances (dance and nonverbal ones) where noises from the outside world were deliberately silenced. Man was placed in the abstract field of its private consciousness. This year selection reinvents the text based theatre, classical authors, it looks for the old theatre instruments as conflict, dialogue, border situations, it lets the life outside the theatre to enter on stage.
The theme this year is The Stranger’s Odyssey.

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November - December 2016

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