Savas Patsalidis: The festival shows a variety of styles

Savas Patsalidis is a theatre critic and professor from Greece, editor-in-chief of the online journal Critical Stages produced by the International Association of Theatre Critics. He shares with Desislava Vasileva some of his impressions on the festival’s Showcase programme.

I’m here, to cover this festival for the Critical Stages journal. This is my fourth time covering this beautiful festival in Varna.

The festival shows a variety of styles and choices of plays that makes it livelier, more inviting and more interesting. Some of the shows are closer to my taste, and I like them more; others I like less, but that happens at all festivals. You cannot really like everything. Some plays touch you more; some touch you less. This is not the first time I feel this way. Every time I come here, I have this feeling. I go away remembering some plays more and others less, but generally, I like the atmosphere. It is so compact and beautiful.

I liked ‘Tribes’ the most. I think the director staged the play very well. From what I learned, the director is very young and also an actor at the National Theatre. He is a very promising theatre maker. I really enjoyed the way he approached ‘Tribes’—the various groups of people, their sentiments, and how they behave towards each other. I also liked the cinematographic stage design with the openings and doors, allowing a panoramic view of all the people involved in the same story. Different sentiments were portrayed, some people happy, some unhappy, which I found quite interesting. The acting, especially by the two young men, was very good, they were excellent actors. ‘Tribes’ was my favorite play.

‘Seline Nebula’ is an interesting body performance. The performer is professional and knows how to use the dancing body. Dramaturgically speaking, I expected a little more development of the theme; however, it felt like it kept repeating itself and going in circles. Overall, I think the concept was interesting, and the atmosphere was mesmerizing with the fog. It was the right place for the right show. I enjoyed it and felt nice afterward.

The project Bulgarian Theatre Showcase in supported by National Culture Fund.

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