THE BRATISLAVA-based Aréna Theatre is opening up to the world – by staging plays with English subtitles. The first piece to be premiered in this way, on November 19, is the play November by US playwright David Mamet.
November, first performed in 2007, was chosen because of its topic and due to the fact that it is an exceptional American drama, Aréna’s dramatic advisor Zuzana Šajgalíková told the SITA newswire.
“It would be a pity for the English-speaking citizens and visitors to Bratislava not to be able to enjoy it – those who have, until now, not been able to see local theatre,” she said.
The Slovak version of November, without subtitles, was premiered last December at Aréna, casting popular actor Tomáš Maštalír in what can almost be called a “one-man-show”. Other performers include Boris Farkaš, Jana Oľhová, Martin Hronský and Ľubo Gregor. November is directed by Martin Čičvák, with the help of dramatic advisers Martin Kubran and Zuzana Šajgalíková, while stage design is by Tom Ciller and costumes by Marija Havran. The music was prepared by Peter Kofroň.
November depicts the situation in a US presidential election race one week prior to the vote.
Thanksgiving Day is nearing, as are the presidential duties attached to it. Thanks to this setting, viewers are able to learn about an ordinary day in the life of the president of a superpower: apart from several conflicts, international scandals, an assassination attempt, some stabs at re-writing history and the acceptance of bribes, he is mostly focused on how to save the election.
The comedy, which mocks “the country of unlimited possibilities”, includes a huge dose of political incorrectness and questions the official values of the Western world, also offering an insight into the political arena at moments when the doors are closed and the cameras switched off, SITA reported, citing the Aréna Theatre.
During its last theatre season Aréna offered hearing-impaired audience members the chance to enjoy performances by launching specially adapted subtitles for the deaf. The current effort to broaden its pool of visitors, dubbed Project Arenaglish, allows audiences without any knowledge of the local language to enjoy performances. Aréna (www.divadloarena.sk) says that it plans to bring a new piece with English subtitles each month.