Patrice Pavis is an internationally renowned theater scholar from France. He is guest of the festival and on 8th June he is delivering a lecture on New Tendencies in Performance Analysis. Anita Angelova spoke with him about his impressions of productions in the festival programme.
“The Seagull” was both an interesting but also very frustrating experience. It was an interesting adaptation of Chekhov’s text, and the staging seems to be very well done with this sitting on chairs, moving the chairs and kind of very geometrical blocking which made sense. Having all the people on the stage also made it interesting because when the actors were not acting in a particular scene, they were just staying still like frozen. But I was a little bit disappointed by the way we could hear the voices of the actors. It seems to me that they were not recorded on the stage, they were very loud, and you couldn’t get a feeling of the exchange of words between the voices and between the characters on the stage, which makes it a little frustrating for me.
I was also wondering about the character of Treplev because he was made almost a cripple and it seemed right from the beginning that he had no chance to win anything. He was a loser. But I don’t think this is right. I think he’s a young man who has a talent, who could become a writer but his mother and her partner stay on his way. And so, I think the character of Treplev, who is so important, was a little bit on the side. And now about the acting. I was wondering why Masha was speaking as if she was not articulated. She speaks without any emotions and just repeats the same pattern and just non-acting. It seemed to me very snobbish because I don’t see the point. I don’t see why she should be talking like that. Otherwise, as I said at the beginning, I think that all the actors were well in their character. Those are talented actors and what I found also interesting was this approach of not really showing all of things, the usual Chekhovian decor, but using just a very abstract setting and going to the bones.
I saw also the production “Lungs” which I think was very well done. I like the changing of the light making one detail seen or not seen and the construction of the relationship, it reminded me of what I had just seen the day before – “You shouldn’t have said so!”. It had a similar idea.