Bitola Shakespeare Festival 2014
PRE FESTIVAL EVENT 05.06.2014 (thursday) HAMLET
Globe Theatre – London
directed by Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst
On 23 April 2014 – the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth – Shakespeare’s Globe will embarkon a two-year global tour of Hamlet that will aim to take in every country in the world. The ‘Globe to Globe Hamlet’, directed by the Globe’s Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole, will be a completely unprecedented theatrical adventure. The company will travel to all 205 nations in the world to stage Hamlet in a huge range of unique and atmospheric venues, from village squares to national theatres, from palaces to beaches. They will travel by boat, sleeper train, jeep, tall ship, bus and aeroplane across the seven continents. The Globe to Globe Hamlet will reinforce the Globe’s continuing commitment to internationalising Shakespeare following the runaway success of the 2012 ‘Globe to Globe’ festival. During the festival 110,000 people – 80% of whom were ﬁrst-time visitors to the Globe – ﬂocked to watch 37 works of Shakespeare performed in 37 different languages over just six weeks. This new tour will bring one of Shakespeare’s best-known plays to some of the most inaccessible places in the world.
19.07.2014 (saturday) HENRY IV
National Company of Theatre of Mexico
directed by Hugo Arrevillaga Serrano
The temptation for the director, Hugo Arrevillaga Serrano, might have been to emphasise the play’s particular resonances with Mexican history and culture: a king crowned through a coup d’état; two young men vying for macho supremacy; warring factions competing over border lines. These resonances were not lost here – the old King (Marco Antonio García) spoke with the testy authority of a dictator addressing a crowd, and the younger male characters were forever grabbing their crotches, as if sending up the cliche of the Latin macho male. But the action was set in some indeterminate past, the actors’ rough wool cloaks and dip-dyed breeches lending them the hippyish look of medieval strolling players (though the king’s costume, a long cloak covered in gold leaves, was one of the production’s only bum notes: he looked disconcertingly like a tree).
The Mexican Spanish rendering of Shakespeare’s verse, though lacking the poetry of the original, was deliciously muscular. And, as with so many foreign-language translations, it neatly sidestepped the problem of comprehensibility that dogs Shakespeare’s comic scenes. Falstaff (an excellent Roberto Soto, great belly straining his studded jerkin) and Prince Hal (a camply sinuous Constatino Morán) spoke in a loose Mexican street slang, their frequent swearing bringing belly-laughs from the rapt audience.
20.07.2014 (sunday) MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Theatre Comedy – Skopje
directed by Dejan Projkovski
William Shakespeare is synonym for the theatre and the world drama. He is author of the great tragedies such as “Hamlet”, “Othello”, “Macbeth” and the history plays “Richard III” and “Henry VI”, as well as the greatest comedies such as “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “The Comedy of Errors” and “ Much Ado About Nothing”. “Much Ado About Nothing” is written in 1598 and is thought to be one of the richest works regarding the variety of characters and situations. The text abounds with comic situations that are developed by the noblemen from Messina. The action takes place in Messina and the script is based on the lovedrama between Beatrice and Benedick and Claudio and Hero and all those who support or usurp their love.The performance will deal with the persistence and resistance of love, obstacles that love has to overcome, as well as the battle of the sexes and social classes- a ﬁght for a true love with true love.
21.07.2014 – Press
21.07.2014 (monday) HAMLET
Istanbul State Theatre
directed by Işıl Kasapoğlu
Hamlet… the person, who can skillfully direct, exhibit, live games in games, become clown with a clown and royal with royal, is as clever as the most clever, kneaded with acting such that he could become a perfect lunatic yet can ask himself how could an actor change attire, identity and existence. Hamlet’s personality is in continuous change just like his style, and this time he shows up as the person, who is both inside and outside the events, and who both lives and tells the events, with his loneliness on the stage. Being one of the most staged plays of William Shakespeare, Hamlet is at the same time a classical art piece, which is discussed the most, written the most, interpreted the most, and continues to be a difﬁcult character, which is examined at every age.
22.07.2014 (tuesday) A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Tirana National Theatre – Albania
directed by John Blondell
I am not afraid to say this: I love this play. I have studied it, seen it, and wondered about it for nearly three decades. I’ve directed it on three occasions, the most recent being this production, staged for and with the wonderful actors of the National Theatre of Albania. The play deftly weaves together three parallel stories: the trials and experiences of two sets of lovers who escape to a magical forest, the world of the Fairy King and Queen and their elves, and a group of craftsmen attempting to stage a play for the wedding of Theseus, the Duke of Athens and Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons. The play’s rich combination of reality and fantasy, wonderful language and characters, and dreamlike atmosphere are simply unmatched in the English language. The play is principally about Love, in all its strange, alluring, and mystifying dimensions. No other play presents the vertigo-inducing phenomenon of love and its effects in such a fully realized and authentic way. In this play (as most of us know only all too well) Love can separate and destroy, but it can also heal and mend. It changes people. In the end, the play presents a vivid depiction of the trials and tribulations of lives in love. It’s also a perfect play for a theatre festival, since the play presents what all festivals are after – a celebration of the transformative power of plays, players, and playing. Thank you for coming – Play On!
John Blondell, Director
23.07.2014 (wednesday) KING LEAR
Theatre Dzinot – Veles
directed by Zvezdana Angelovska
…Can anyone restore balance to the world, or has it been long lost by our ancestors? Had it been any different, would there be tragedies in the world, or are they here just to prove that Good will not win over Evil, so that we may triumph in the short-lived balance? The world’s folly is extraordinary, since we hide our own actions under the Sun, so that we may sleep peacefully under the faltering Moon… Is not this our delusion, dream, which drives us into lies, fraud and betrayal; where love is given hate’s face and mocks us painted in red blood? It is of no consequence whether I am a king, a father, or a respectful daughter, an underprivileged son, an obedient servant or a lover aiming at the throne – I am a fool, nothing but a jester, because just when we think we’ve survived the storm one last wave closes above us, yet our last thought is… “No, it can do me no harm…” And that’s what a human is.
24.07.2014 (thursday) SHAKESPEARE IN PUPPETS workshop
MAREK WASZKIEL, PhD., historien, critic, director of The Animation Theatre in Poznań, Poland (since 2014), since 1977 he is the permanent professor of history of puppetry art at the Theatre Academy in Warsaw, where in 1999-2005 he was the vice-rector, responsible for the Puppetry Art Department in Bialystok. In 2005-2012 he was the general and artistic director of the Bialystok Puppet Theatre. In 1977-2005 he worked for the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, as a researcher of the history of puppetry art and the editor of “Theatrical Diary”, then the editor-in-chef of the Biographical Dictionary of the Polish Theatre. Simultaneously he was a member of the executive committee of UNIMA International in 1996-2004 and 2008-2012 again, the chairman of the UNIMA Communication and Publication Commission, the UNIMA Training Commission. He published many studies on puppetry in Poland, as well as many articles about puppet theatre in all over the world. His most important books are The History of Puppet Theatre in Poland (till 1945), Warsaw 1990 and The History of Puppet Theatre in Poland 1944-2000, Warsaw 2012. He is the editor of some series concerned the Polish puppet artists and the historical and theoretical aspects of puppetry. He co-operates with many puppet theatres, puppetry schools and festivals in several countries as a puppetry art consultant.
24.07.2014 (thursday) OTHELLO
National Theatre – Bitola, Macedonia
directed by Diego De Brea
The play is an objective point of view about the fact that even the most powerful people have an Achilles’ heel. The script is a story about a man who has a full control over himself, but by entering in a paranoid state of mind he faces with jealousy that causes a tragic end- which is actually a part of Shakespeare’s mastery.The actors in the play expose themselves. The script is not pragmatism neither a rational text. It’s about the jealousy coming out of nothing. It talks about how a trivial thing can destroy an empire, and this is a common thing in history.The theme is, in every sense of the word, very popular nowadays. It is a civilizational topic that covers the war, the love, the faith, but its main concern is the modern Pandora box that hides the desire for power. “For me, as a director, the sensation on stage is always a challenge and that’s why I have given maximum space to the actor”- De Brea points.
25.07.2014 (friday) A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Theatre “Vojdan Chernodrinski” – Prilep, Macedonia
directed by Nela Vitosevic
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, probably due to its exceptionally provocative theme, as well as the extremely unusual dramatic structure which lacks a basic narrative line of development, and instead has four, and even more subplots which simultaneously unfold, is the most frequently played, studied, analyzed, as well as disputed work by Shakespeare. I myself, see this play as a mystic dramatic structure which explores the dark side of dreams, the fear of and confrontation with the unknown, as well as the relationship between reason and feelings. The idea is to express the metamorphosis of the human condition, or to open the world of the subconscious and shed light on the suppressed desires and hidden needs. In this sense, the play deals with the dualism of human nature, by providing a parallel insight into two contradictory world – the real world of the kingdom, as opposed to the fantastic world of the forest. The Kingdom stands for Thanatos. It is the world of reason, order and moral. It depicts the world of rules and conservatism where the authorities and social norms have absolute control and suppress the individual. The forest stands for Eros. It represents desire, love and freedom. It depicts the world of liberal thought where emotions and passions win over reason.
26.07.2014 (saturday) WITHOUT LEAR
Pokoleniy Theatre – St. Petersburg, Russia
directed by Eberhard Köhler
The weight of this sad time we must obey; Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most: we that are young Shall never see so much, nor live so long.
Shakespeare, King Lear
The renowned director and theater pedagogue, the founder of Theater Pokoleniy Zinovy Korogodsky (1926—2004) initially wanted to stage “King Lear” at Theater Pokoleniy and play the part of Lear himself. However, for various reasons his plan did not come to fruition. This play, staged by Danila Korogodsky, is called “Without Lear”. The King has died. Around the deserted throne ﬂy memories of the rebellious King, the last romantic, cruel and naïve, stubbornly following his quest for his own truth, justice and faith to the very end. The tragedy of Lear grows into the tragedy of a world which has lost all harmony. Remembering the King and recreating his life piece by piece, the citizens of his kingdom search for a way of continuing to live their lives — but lives without Lear.