The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj accepted an invitation to participate in the International Theatre Olympics 2019 held in Saint Petersburg, with the production of Rosmersholm, directed by Andriy Zholdak, thus making this the company’s first Russian tour. Rosmersholm will be performed twice during the event, namely on September 13 and 14, on the New stage of the Alexandrinsky Theatre.
The Theatrical Olympics was founded in Greece in 1993 at the initiative of director Theodoros Terzopoulos. Over the past two decades, the international theatre festival was held in Delphi (Greece), Shizuoka (Japan), Moscow (Russia), Istanbul (Turkey), Seoul (South Korea), Beijing (China), Wroclaw (Poland), New Delhi (India).
This year's edition will take place in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The International Festival Committee for the Theatre Olympics 2019 is made up of prominent theatre professionals such as director Tadashi Suzuki, director Valery Fokin, playwright Wole Soyinka, director Robert Wilson, playwright Ratan Thiyam, poet Tony Harrison, actor and playwright Georges Lavaduant and director Giorgio Barbiero Corsetti. The aim of the large-scale festival is to create an international theatrical encounter and to create a dialogue between theatre performers from all over the world. The event, which began on June 15 and spans over several months, and features more than 30 theatrical performances from 15 countries. Saint Petersburg audiences will have a chance to view productions by the Théâtre des Bouffes-du-Nord (Paris, France), the Berliner Ensemble (Berlin, Germany), SCOT Theatre Company (Toga, Japan), Schaubühne (Berlin, Germany), in performances staged by directors such as Theodoros Terzopoulos, Tadashi Suzuki, Heiner Goebbels, Robert Wilson, Andrei Șerban, Andriy Zholdak, Krystian Lupa and Jan Klata.
The premiere of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj’s production of Rosmersholm took place on March 24, 2017. The work’s playwright, Ioana Mălău, stated the following concerning the performance: “Nobody can escape from their own sins. Our actions are lurking from behind the door, are hidden in the ashes of the fire-place, they look back at us from our own reflection in the window. We may talk, or stay quiet, the awareness of our sins hangs on us as a soaked jacket. How could we encounter each other without sensing a constant smell of mold? We attempt to open the windows and air out all that draws us back. We mop the floors, burn the anticipation. We shout in order to chase away benevolent and evil spirits. We run until we are out of breath, out of thought. Then we carry our mate - the person we love - just like a sack, in order to absolve them as well.”
Rosmersholm has been invited to several theatre festivals in the past, including the 2017 National Theatre Festival in Bucharest; the 2018 Reflex International Theatre Festival held in Sfantu Gheorghe; and the 2018 National Theatre Reunion (POST) in Pécs, Hungary. The production won several awards at the 2018 edition of POST, including Best Performance, Best actress (Éva Imre) and Best Set Design (Andriy Zholdak, Daniel Zholdak).