Iron Theatre Gaining International Acclaim and Keeping Classics Alive

Berthold Brecht is helping Georgian theatre and its history to gain worldwide acclaim. The Caucasus Circle Chalk, staged by the renowned Robert Sturua, with phenomenal theatre and cinema star, the late Ramaz Chkhikvadze, together with the famous Rustaveli Theatre company, reached such levels of creativity that a British critic once wrote: “Wow, Georgians have taught us how to play Shakespeare!”

Today, the Iron Theatre is staging Davit Andghuladze’s version of Completely Other Opera, based on Brecht’s Three-Pence Opera.

The Iron Theatre recently returned from the Black Sea International Theatre Festival, held in Turkey, in which only 11 international troupes out of 120 applicants took part. They were there on the strength of Completely Other Opera.

This particular theatre is attractive to tourists with its modern facilities, enticing aesthetics and staging qualities. One other sign of its modernity is Andghuladze’s propensity to give male roles to female performers, and vice versa.

Nodar Simsive plays the part of a woman who is a former prostitute, who has a husband with one daughter, played also by a male actor. He is widely considered the best actor and most sparkling figure of the whole company in this particular performance, which is unusually vigorous and loud.

Ana Kaulashvili, a female actor playing the part of a young pauper whose mother is a prostitute and whose father is a thief, shared the challenges she faced in performing this particular role: “It has not been an easy task to transform into a young man! The performance premiered in 2011. The work was extremely interesting and hard at the same time. I used to observe young boys in order to resemble them. It was our first tour abroad, thus, very important for the theatre as well as for us, young actors. I think, due to this experience, we became smarter as artists. There was no contest, but we received a positive reaction. We got acquainted with the theatrical traditions of Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan and other countries.”

Anghuladze tries to express his civil opinion and position with regard to the present, using the plays of the world classicists. The main figures for Brecht in Three-Pence Opera are prostitutes, thieves and policemen. When looking at the highest rating TV shows, such themes and characters tend to be involved.

The theatre is closed now for the summer season and will reopen in October with the premiere of “Samanishvili’s Stepmother” based on the story by Georgian writer Davit Kldiashvili.

Maka Lomadze

18 June 2015 22:47