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From Adam & Eve to Stalin: theatre for all

LAST year, the Bratislava-based international theatre festival Eurokontext.sk experienced its so-called “zero year”. This time around it looks to find its bearings between June 12 and 19.

Gypsies, Katona József Színház, Budapest(Source: Courtesy of Eurokontext festival)

In 2014, it contained all three parts of theatre, drama, opera and ballet. Now, it will still be organised by the Slovak National Theatre (SND) but will alternate dramatic part and a musical-dance themes every other year.

“The theatres presented are not some avant-garde independent stages but really traditional, serious institutions, often national theatres – both in selection of themes and motifs and selection of theatrical forms,” said Roman Polák, head of the SND’s drama section.

This year’s motif is “The Wall” — a reference to any wall that divides societies, a wall of misunderstanding between people, social groups; social conflict. To make the leitmotif visible and easily understandable, a big black wall – coming close to the Berlin Wall in size – has appeared in front of the SND’s new building near the Eurovea complex.

Created by graphic designer Marcel Benčík, it serves as promo for the festival, a kind of “message board” during the festival, and also as the space for members of guest theatres to leave their ideas and suggestions there, Denník N reported.

A total of 13 stageings by nine theatres will be offered, from nine countries: Visegrad Four countries (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia), Germany,Austria, Belgium, Ukraine and Georgia.

The festival will open with the Vienna Burgtheater’s performance of "The Celibate”, which plays in Bratislava after a break of 36 years, on June 12. The next day, Théâtre de Liège’s Ubik Group will offer its insight into the fundamental conflict in its “Why Is Eva Coming to Adam Tonight?”.

On May 14, the National Theatre from Prague brings Marius von Mayenburg’s “The Stone” as directed by head of the local drama section, Michal Dočekal. The next night the Georgian-Italian co-production of Gogol’s “Madman’s Diary” by Kote Marjanishvili State Drama Theatre from Tbilisi and the Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione from Modena, is directed by Levan Tsuladze.

May 16 will bring Teatr Dramatyczny from Warsaw with Tadeusz Słobodzianek’s “Young Stalin”, directed by Slovak director Ondrej Spišák.

The Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theatre from Kiev will show the stories of actors Ukrainian revolution in the “Maidan Diaries”, written by Natalia Vorozhbyt, directed by Andriy May and dedicated to their deceased colleague, actor Andriy Movchan.

The State Theatre Dresden with its Didived Heaven by Christa Wolf, directed by Tilmann Köhler and focusing on tthe Berlin Wall, will conclude the festival.

Five Slovak performances include three directed by Polák, “The Bride of the Ridge” and “The Shepherd’s Wife”; and “The Prophet Štúr and His Shadow”. One SND drama — “Mojmír II or the Twilight of An Empire” — is focused on more recent walls and ancient history (directed by Rastislav Ballek), while recently premiered “Midnight Mass”, directed by Lukáš Brutovský, is more contemporary.

 

All events include English (and Slovak) subtitles, or a translation. Tickets are available at the SND ticket office, 02/2047-2289; or rezervacie@snd.sk. 

 

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