William Shakespeare

Translated by: Dragi Mihajlovski
Director: Angelcho Ilievski
Dramaturge: Biljana Krajchevska
Scenography by:  Valentin Svetozarev
Costume design by: Blagoj Micevski
Original score: Darija Andonovska
Choreography by: Jagoda Dimovska

Prompter: Zorka Gjakovska
Lighting by: Ilija Dimovski, Igor Micevski
Sound by: Nikolche Terzievski
Photography by: Kosta Dupchinov

Premiere: 18 April 2016

The Poet: Petar Mirchevski
The Young Boy: Filip Mirchevski
The Black Lady: Gabriela Petrushevska
The Young Lady: Viktorija Stepanovska-Jankulovska
The Rival Poet: Ognen Drangovski
The Inspector: Ivan Jerchikj
Stage manager: Dimitar Mihajlovski

Working with Shakespeare’s text is both temptation and pleasure, but when it comes to his Sonnets, it is more than a temptation and pleasure, it like exploring the Cosmos, discovering new worlds, entering the most private corners of the author and of you. It is an ocean of emotions, states, yearning, sorrow, pain, happiness …love.

It was quite challenging to me, first to create a clear story, with comprehensible and strong characters and development of their relations, where all of it will be clear just with the sonnets as they are, no word added, and then in my own way, to transfer everything on the stage– on one world of magic and mystique, where a different logic exists mixing the conscious with the unconscious and happening in a state of chaos of thoughts that should be turned into order.

Inner voices, plenty of them, voices that cannot be stopped, voices that come to life and kill, voices that make you fall asleep and kill the dreams. The story is told through the characters of the Poet and the Black Lady. Through their memories, everyday situations, painful topics, up until their final unity – the eternity.  The play emphasizes the external voice, the most frightening one- the authority, which cannot reconcile with the work of the poet that loudly speaks the truth. The question is how or whether it recognizes it? This emphasis is not the most important in the play, but poses many questions, crucial ones for an artist.

Nevertheless, the play represents our personal cry for honest love, love in general, unconditioned love – to wait for eternity, to speak for the missed moments, for the mistakes that were made, for the scars we have, to speak for our ability to make important decisions, for the mistakes we make and the ability to forgive. Countless questions and even more answers.

This play means a world to me for it opens, without hesitation, the most private and basic human emotions and states in this filthy, hypocritical time and serve as a reminder for the deep and honest feelings we have forgotten for a long period of time, just as we started forgetting ourselves…

Angelcho Ilievski, director

Shakespeare is the poet in the play and the playwright in the poetry. Shakespeare’s Sonnets, the 154 printed in 1609, present us with the opportunity to dive deep into his poetically and dramatically powerful contemplation of the eternal love, the meaning of life, the beauty, the loneliness, the desire.

Thus, every single sonnet is one short monologue with an inner conflict weaved within, elaborating themes that are quite intrigue even today (the question of human identity, reassessment of human relations, existence of moral and spiritual set of values here and now etc.).

Perhaps this complexity and openness for interpretation was the prime motive of the young director Angelcho Ilievski to stage them (for the first time in Macedonia) as a whole and complete play ”Sonnets”, at the same time as his personal text based on the collage of 30 sonnets by Shakespeare as well as two poems by Christopher Marlowe. The six characters are derived  (the Young Boy, the Young Lady, the Poet, the Black Lady, the Rival Poet and the Inspector) play life in the time which is combination of present and past, life that cannot end, life missed, actually trapped in waiting i.e. from the Poet’s point of view – that is life that serves only to fix something that is nothing than a memory. The first impression is that the story tells the rivalry between the brilliance of William Shakespeare and the one of Christopher Marlowe, but it is the tip of the iceberg – it is a play that tries to present the forgotten, yet so simple human values/virtues/love that disappear forever, devoid from the emotional or rational reasoning, something that will make its complete love sense only in the Eschaton.

Biljana Krajchevska, dramaturge