Purging is the theme of this year's Divadelná Nitra

PURGING, particularly in the form of “ridding oneself of guilt” will be the dominant theme of the 22nd year of Divadelná Nitra, the biggest festival of contemporary theatre in Slovakia.

PURGING, particularly in the form of “ridding oneself of guilt” will be the dominant theme of the 22nd year of Divadelná Nitra, the biggest festival of contemporary theatre in Slovakia.

“After the first year of the project in 2011, with the title ‘Reveal Your Secret’, and the second year, ‘Guilt / Innocence’, the current year's theme ... [builds] on the previous two, [with] the subtitle ‘Purged?’, with a symbolic question mark at the end,” head of the festival Darina Kárová said at a press conference.

“The works to be presented explore the issue of purging, cleansing, getting rid of guilt, accusations, sins in our Jewish-Christian tradition; whether the purging is only temporary or permanent. And like in previous years, Divadelná Nitra studies fundamental social and political phenomena through the stories and fates of individuals.”

The festival, taking place between September 27 and October 2 in the city of Nitra, will host four Slovak productions to elaborate its theme: Holocaust, by the Aréna theatre from Bratislava; Rechnitz – The Angel of Death, by the Slovak National Theatre; Modrofúz (Bluebeard), by the City Theatre Žilina; and Uncertain Ground, by the Stoka theatre. These were selected by dramatic advisor Peter Pavlac, who is also the curator of the 2013 Slovak programme.

“All four selected productions contain an aspect which fascinates me in theatre,” Pavlac said. “They try to involve the audiences, not to let go, and to offer their own version of purging – each one in its own way.”

In the main festival programme, the staging of Vnútro Vnútra (The Inside of the Inside), will be a Slovak and world premiere of the story of a double agent and secretly ordained priest, Přemysl Coufal, from 1981, whose fate remains unsolved. The piece, written especially for the project “Parallel Lives – The 20th Century through the Eyes of Secret Police” by Ľubomír Burgr and Dušan Vicen, will be performed by the SkRAT theatre.

The festival will offer 13 productions in 19 performances, including productions from Slovak, Czech, Croatian, French, Hungarian, German, Polish, Romanian and Slovenian theatres.

The festival will spill out of the Andrej Bagar Theatre to a local gallery and into the streets in the form of street performances, kiosks, a design market, a hurdy-gurdy performance, as well as artistic, film and radio events. The plays will have English subtitles. The full programme can be found, including instructions for purchasing tickets, at the festival website nitrafestival.sk.

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