Brian Friel’s ‘Molly Sweeney’ on the Georgian Stage

If you decide to see a performance at the Kote Marjanishvili State Drama Theater, go on a Friday, because that’s the day performances have English subtitles. GEORGIA TODAY attended a performance directed by Temur Chkheidze according to the 2010 play ‘Molly Sweeney’ by Brian Friel, one of the greatest living English dramatists. The play was renamed ‘Blind Visible,’ and is being staged in the so-called “roof” of the theater.

Like its original version, Blind Visible is a two-act play by Brian Friel which tells the story of Molly, a woman blind since infancy who undergoes an operation to try to restore her sight. The play tells Molly's story through monologues by three characters: Molly, her husband Frank, and her surgeon, Mr. Rice.

A very impressive group of professionals has been working on the theatrical oeuvre: aside from the prominent director Chkheidze, set designer Giorgi Alexi-Meskhishvili, choreographer Gia Marghania, and indelible film and theater composer Giya Kancheli, came together for the project.

The cast is also interesting. Molly is played by Nani Chikvinadze, an exceptionally feminine and exquisite actress. Mr. Rice is embodied by Gia Burjanadze, one of the most handsome Georgian actors on stage, and Aleko Makharoblishvili, an actor with a typically jovial and positive image, who this time shows the audience that he can be equally successful in the role of a sad man, plays Frank.

First, some might think that Frank seeks the return of his wife’s sight because of his love for her. However, we learn that things are not that simple. The performance is a recollection - the search for that basic point that turns a pseudo-noble act into a crime. Curing a sick person becomes a goal of self-actualization. Caring for another is always underlined by the benefit we gain ourselves by the act of caring for someone and the actors show us that egoism can be endlessly multifaceted and even camouflaged by the mask of kindness.

Brian Patrick Friel was an Irish dramatist and short story writer who was often referred to as Irish Chekhov, considered one of the greatest living English-language dramatists. His plays were commonly featured on Broadway throughout this time and he was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the British Royal Society of Literature and the Irish Academy of Letters. In 1987, he was appointed to Seanad Eireann- upper house of the Oireachtas, Irish Legislature, which also comprises the President of Ireland and Dail Eireann (the lower house). Friel served there until 1989. In later years, ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ reinvigorated Friel's oeuvre, bringing him the Tony Awards (including Best Play), the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. It was also adapted into a film starring Meryl Streep and directed by Pat O'Connor

WHERE: Marjanishvili Theater “Roof” stage. Every Friday, the Marjanishvili Theater offers performances with English subtitles

WHERE: 8 pm


Maka Lomadze

19 January 2017 19:16