23. MF DIVADLO: Up & Down Njåla Helgeho Mjøse
As a Scandinavian, a foreigner visiting the festival for the first time, it was exciting trying to get a grasp of Czech theatre of today through the performances presented. Of course, out of the few productions I saw, such a task is hardly reachable. But I was delighted that I could add up and broaden my knowledge from interesting articles I found in a copy of the theatre magazine «Czech THEATRE», all translated into English. I wish I could present Norwegian drama and theatre artists in such a magazine to foreigners interested in what´s on in the Scandinavian stages.
Nowy Teater, Varšava (PL) – K. Warlikovski, J. Poniedziałek, P. Gruszczyński: (A)pollonia ***** – 5
Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlín (DE) – H. Ibsen: An Enemy of the People ***** – 5
Two very strong productions from Poland and Germany. Ostermeier`s takes on Ibsen are always refine, yet with An enemy of the people he – and his dramaturg Florian Borchmeyer – makes the play reverberate even more into present day than any of his previous Ibsen productions. Warlikowski`s (A)pollonia was truly disturbing and demanding.
DNz, Praha – J. Mikulášek, D. Viceníková: Hedonists – **** – 4
Vesturport, Reykjavik (ISL) – J. A. Jonasson: Brim/Breakwater *** 1/2 – 3,5
Both Vesturport´s Brim and The Hedonists from Theatre On the Balustrade cram a group of individuals into one tiny room, each in their own way two alluring productions. I assume they lost some of their scenic impact as they both were produced for much smaller stages than they disappointingly enough were presented at in the festival.
Klicperovo divadlo, Hradec Králové – A. S. Puškin: Eugene Onegin ** ½ – 2,5
Slovácké divadlo, Uherské Hradiště – B. Brecht: The Wedding **** 1/2 – 4,5
The linguistic vigor and lyricism of the language is easily lost in translation, although all the festival productions are texted on screen. Visual concepts and artistic styles come therefore to the forefront, being more accessible for a foreign spectator. In this respect I especially was fond of Anna Petrželková`s take on Brecht´s one-act The Wedding, an energetic and playful satire full of plastic musicality.
Njål Helge Mjøs, dramaturg at Nationaltheatret (the National Theatre) in Oslo, Norway
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