International theatre capital moves to Sibiu Seventy-five countries participate in this year’s edition of the world’s third largest theatre festival. Nine O’Clock 2007-05-25 by George Grigoriu
The 14th edition of the International Theatre Festival of Sibiu is starting this week-end, having been officially opened in the Grand Square, last night, with the ‘Seagull’ directed by Andrei Serban. Today, the plays included in the programme are ‘Theatre Creator’ (The Act Theatre), ‘Installations de Feu’, Compagnie Carabosse, ‘Rhythm in Motion’ (a combination of live music, dance, video and theatrical art), directed by Zahi Patish and ‘Purification’ (The Cluj National Theatre), directed by Andrei Serban. The ‘Installations de Feu’, project of the Compagnie Carabosse, is an itinerary that surrounds the city centre, re-draws the old medieval boundaries of the city and enhances specific old architectural elements as well as inhabited neighbourhoods, where every dilapidated wall tells the story of the people living behind it. The itinerary of fire is going to be doubled by the musical itinerary that combines the repertoire of the company with the one of the musical bands of Sibiu that are representative for the city’s musical culture, of an original artistic magnitude, written for the Sibiu City and together with the Sibiu City. Saturday is reserved for ‘The Goat or Who Sylvia Is’ (winner of the Tony Award in 2001), directed by Alexandru Dabija and ‘Time for Love, Time for Death’ directed by Radu Alexandru Nica. On Sunday, the festival proposition is ‘Faber Fest’ (The Faber Theatre), ‘Healed Hearts’ directed by Radu Afrim and ‘Un Tango Mas’ (The Odeon Theatre).
Organisers say that the festival is being organised within the ‘Sibiu European Capital of Culture 2007’ Programme, bringing together representatives of 75 countries for this edition.
The 14th edition is a special one both because of the very large number of companies that have announced participation and because of the much wider space allocated to theatre.
Hamlet descents on stage in Sibiu
An interesting event appears to be the many representative European actors on the project ‘To be or not to be. Europe, Shakespeare and its actors’. Seven actors, seven Hamlets: Ion Caramitru (Romania), Willam Nadylam (France), Piotr Adamczyck (Poland), Teresa Afolter (Germany), Danilo Nigreli (Italy), Reni Pittaki (Greece) and Richard McCabe (Great Britain). Every actor will utter in his own language two monologues. The first monologue will be the famous ‘To be or not to be’ from the play ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare. The second one will be a text from the culture of the invited actor.
Ion Caramitru was the longest-standing Romanian Hamlet in an exceptional mounting by Alexandru Tocilescu at the Bulandra Theatre. The actor always remembers with pleasure his Hamletian adventure: “The opening was in November 1985. Romania was under full dictatorship, the television was broadcasting two hours every day, there was no night-time street lighting, the air temperature was 15 Celsius degrees below zero and the spectators would come to the theatre dressed up like for a journey to Siberia. We played it seven years…more than 200 times.”