School of sleep 1

Kristina Steiblytė, 2013-06-04
Scene from the performance “Intimacy” (dir. Artūras Areima). VDU theatre. Photo by Jonas Petronis

In brief: Theatre route in Kaunas: the National Kaunas Drama Theatre, Chamber Theatre, Small Theatre, Vytautas Magnus University Theatre and, if there is some wish and energy left, back to the National Theatre. We watch “A Month in a Village” of Valius Tertelis at the National Theatre, “The Miser or School of Lie” of Algimantas Pociūnas at the Chamber Theatre, “Reserve” of Alius Veverskis at the Small Theatre, “Intimacy” of Artūras Areima at VMU theatre. Even though there is not much in common among these performances at first glance, they form the summery lazy and slightly boring whole.

This can be felt while reading texts chosen by the directors already. The only play that encourages dynamics of action and that does not let one drowse is the play of Moliere that granted playfulness and dynamics to the performance of A. Pociūnas. It is much more complicated to bring some dynamics and intrigue into texts of Jean-Paul Sartre who are meant for revealing the internal rather than external action. Therefore, the choice of A. Areima seemed risky.

The choice of the text did not help the director A.Veverskis to formulate a message or position too – he worked with the drama of Gintaras Grajauskas.

V. Tertelis took a completely different path while staging Ivan Turgenev than his younger colleagues, who failed to render some particular position, and revealed everything too clearly. The actors knew relations of characters well and strove to “show” them, the set design left no doubts that the action took place in a village; stylised costumes of actors referred to the historical time when the play was written. Everything is clear, everything smells of the psychological realistic theatre.

Halls are chamber at Kaunas Small and VMU theatre, and actors are very close to the audience in the performances. Therefore, their ability to create a contact with the audience is of great importance for the success of these performances. The actors rallied for the performance by A.Areima did not quite succeed to achieve this. True, the space and the fact that all characters acted as if they did not see each other helped to create the Sartre-like impression of intimacy when people live together without seeing each other. Still, more precise acting of G. Piktytė and S.Janušauskaitė was needed and monologues could be chosen for the performance with more accuracy refusing all unnecessary places of text.

Meanwhile, A.Pociūnas did this work well but there was not much to rejoice about in “The Miser” apart from the work with the dramaturgy.

There is not much playfulness, not much interest in the present, raising of questions to be discussed and provocation, there is not much challenge to oneself and the audience in all four performances. One only has to listen to known stories and try to disguise yawn frequently. It is a pity to see theatre turning into the school of sleep. Perhaps the reason of it is the end of the season when everybody needs holiday badly? When everybody needs to get enough sleep and new power for work?

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