Dieter Topp: I proposed ‘The Hague’ for the Award of KulturForum Europa for Cultural Achievement

The German theatre journalist Dieter Topp shares with Anita Angelova his opinion about ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time’ and ‘The Hague’, part of the Showcase programme.

I’m a journalist from Germany, working for KulturForum Europa. I recently had the pleasure of attending a festival in Bucharest, and I had a few days free before heading to my next festival. I heard about the Varna Summer International Theater Festival and here I am.

I am particularly interested in watching Bulgarian theatre, because I travel a lot and I saw a lot of performances from many countries, but only two from Bulgaria. One of these was the premiere of the show we just saw – ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time,’ and I was very impressed by it. The show tackles a very specific theme, working with children with special needs. However, it was not just about children with special needs; it was about developing sympathy and understanding for children with different attitudes and loving them in their unique ways. The story centered on a boy who couldn’t walk more than 50 meters from his house but suddenly got the courage to buy a ticket, to enter a train, to go to London, find his mother, solve all the problems, and finally return to his beloved family. The message was wonderful, and I enjoyed the show very much.

Last night, I attended another show, the Showcase opening show – ‘The Hague’. It was breathtaking. It reminded me of Chaplin’s ‘The Great Dictator’ because, as Chaplin said, we need to make people laugh about dictators. This is precisely what the Ukrainian author Sasha Denisova and especially the Bulgarian-born director, Galin Stoev, now working in France, do. So, Stoev is very famous, and we can see why. The show was stunning, and in general, it was about how to look at dictators.

Especially now as Europe is drifting more and more to the far right, with upcoming elections, dictatorship is waving from outside and let’s hope for the best and let’s hope that people are going to become open minded. Not get infected by fake news but use a real brain and trust the official media. ‘The Hague’ is one of the most impressive shows that I saw in the last few months.

Now, let me share a secret with you. For more than 30 years, the Kultur Forum Europa has been awarding an Award for Cultural Achievement. After watching this show, I wrote to the board of the European Culture Forum, suggesting that we award the director, the show, and the playwright with the next European Culture Award. I have a good feeling about this and promise to work on it, along with others who share the same idea. We will stay in contact regarding this.

Photo: Dieter Topp at the Varna Summer International Theatre Festival Showcase Meeting 

Photgrapher: Rosen Donev

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