Eirini Mountraki: The festival provides an overall view of both the big repertory theatres and the independent scene

Eirini Mountraki is the head dramaturg at the National Theatre of Greece in Athens, and head of the international collaborations department. She also teach at the Universities of Athens and Peloponnese. Jacqueline Dobreva asked her about her impressions from the productions presented in the Showcase programme.

I was particularly impressed by the aesthetic of the performance ‘Happy Days’ by Beckett, directed by Margarita Mladenova. The set design, featuring a black hole-like kaleidoscope through which we watched Winnie, was exceptionally clever. I think it was the first time, I saw Willie fully present on stage, which is quite rare. The actress’s performance was dynamic and compelling, balancing sentimentality with a rational stage presence. I know the work of Sfumato Theatre Laboratory, and I like the way Margarita targets with her directing arrow.

The young actor’s performance in ‘I Am My Own Wife’ was equally remarkable. Playing numerous, diverse characters with boldness and finesse. Although there are parts of the show that would need a more detailed and refined work his talent was evident.

The Hungarian performance – ‘Living the Dream with Grandma’ had a very intriguing concept. The idea was really promising, but I am afraid that the dramaturgy brought on stage too many issues without exploring them in depth. The interaction between media, videos, and the actor’s physical presence was not perceived as organic for the show.

I also liked ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’. The inclusion of adoptable dogs was a delightful touch. I liked a lot the actor who played the part of the Father. He gave a clear, minimal and accurate performance, and the young boy’s impersonation was exceptional given the complexity of the role.

I also attended director Galin Stoev’s “The Hague” and found the production puzzling, especially in its approach to the broader question of finding a living space in any country or situation that is under attack. It got me thinking about the deeper implications. But I have to say that it had some exceptional moments like the one of the dream with the ballet.

It was my first time attending the Varna Summer Festival. I’ve heard about it for years, but never had a chance to experience it. I would say the festival provides an overall view of both the big repertory theatres and the independent scene, which adds more to the big picture of theatre in Bulgaria today. The people here are generous, friendly and positive, which enhances the experience. I am glad I am here in this enriching and thought-provoking atmosphere

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.