New year, old wheels 4

Kristina Steiblytė, 2014-12-29

In brief: The second premiere of the 95th season of the National Kaunas Drama Theatre embodying the slogan “History – anew!” is one more return of a play staged at the beginning of the eighth decade. While “Barbora” was staged by the director Jonas Jurašas himself for the second time, the performance “Biography: A Game” created by Vytautas Čibiras in 1974 could not be repeated by the same director. The new version of “Biography: Acting” returns the director Gintaras Varnas to NKDT and the theatre history.

The play of Max Frisch “Biography: A Game” tells about the dying scientist-behaviourist, his attempts to recreate his biography, to act it anew. The main character Kürmann tries to change his meeting with the second wife Antoinette. All other strange stories remain untouched although the director keeps offering to do it.

All main characters of the biography are intellectuals. Still, despite their education, mutual relations, fading love and inability to forgive are the most important in lives of characters. G. Varnas chose the actor Dainius Svobonas for the main role and Eglė Špokaitė for the role of Antoinette. Vilija Klėmanienė, Eglė Grigaliūnaitė, Gintaras Adomaitis and Edgaras Žemaitis become assistants of the director and supers of life of Kürmann and Antoinette in the performance.

Both productions of the play, that of V. Čibiras and G. Varnas, do not differ much: text, psychological acting predominates in both performances, the crisis of life and fear of death is overcome similarly. Visually the performances are similar too. True, the atmosphere of a rehearsal is created more persuasively in the variant of G. Varnas.

The most vivid difference is the director’s role. The main characters suffer the most and are the most significant in the performance of V. Čibiras, while the director is in the centre in the performance of G. Varnas. He is the divine figure here who can turn back time and do the impossible.

In conclusion, the author states that “Biography: A Game” directed by G. Varnas is a rather tidy performance, a good example of psychological and literary theatre. Fiction prevails in this theatre and one may identify with it, observe it, think about own or creators’ biographies or simply regret spending money for theatre.


Photos by Donatas Stankevičius

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