Brilliant Paulinka ever popular among audience

Belaya Vezha Festival gathers full house in Brest

Belaya Vezha Festival gathers full house in Brest

City residents and guests recently enjoyed true theatre, with diverse forms and genres. The nine-day 20th International Belaya Vezha Theatre Festival gathered 22 theatrical troupes from across 13 countries, with shows staged in seven languages. Festival organisers marked the jubilee event by inviting winners of Grand Prixes from previous years, in addition to new participants. Rather than choosing ‘the best’ each troupe received its own appreciation from professional critics.

Scene from Paulinka performance by the Yanka Kupala National Academic Theatre

Belaya Vezha opened with Italian Viva Commedia! — performed by Minsk’s Maxim Gorky National Academic Drama Theatre. Audiences also loved Riga’s Chekhov Russian Theatre’s production of Fro. The Brest Puppet Theatre staged the play several months ago, which inspired Ruslan Kudashov — a St. Petersburg director — to do the same. However, the show which he premiered at the festival was notably different from the Brest performance.

Brest audiences are well familiar with the story of Kysya, the brave and attentive cat. The monologue staged by Vsevolod Chubenko’s Svoi Theatre, from Russian Vologda, was well-received by audiences and all tickets sold out.

The Brest Academic Drama Theatre presented Dziady (Grandfathers), based on Adam Mickiewicz’s poem and staged by Polish director Pawel Passini. Arousing much debate, the complicated performance encouraged interaction by inviting members of the audience onto the stage. Meanwhile, the action took place within a circular area of soil, covered with paper. The performance was rather lengthy but no less skilful for this.

Also ‘controversial’ was the Soyuz Marins Group’s production of Wind; artistes from Moscow’s Centre of Drama and Staging used movement of air in their show, thanks to water pipes, matches, glasses of water and sticks. Directed by Georgy Berdzenishvili, Wind portrays a Buddhist legend, without words, and has 11 scenes, including ‘The Dream’, ‘The Joke’, ‘The Game’, ‘Love’, and ‘Solitude’.

The Yanka Kupala National Academic Theatre’s Paulinka represented the more traditional side of performance, having enjoyed popularity for over 70 years. As critics and audiences admit, Paulinka was staged brilliantly. Truly, it is the best work of Belarusian drama. Famous Belarusian director Nikolay Pinigin brought new life to the work, which was also musically rich, celebrating its unique characters.

By Valentina Kozlovich
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