Monday, 15 February 2010

Mountain Climbing and a Dodgy Chekhov.

After breakfast we set off up into the hills to the East and climbed for over an hour until we reached the skyline. From here you can see how vulnerable the city is in it's bowl. The Sun was out and we talked as we walked about where Sarajevo Marlboro might go.

One option is for Stef to workshop it at The Oval with a young company with me providing the adaptation and scripting sections. This could potentially begin in April with a possible July showing. Otherwise we might be looking at carving out a week in May to do some development work - but this journey seems slower and less secure. I think we both feel that it's important to keep the work moving. Slipping and sliding we made our way back into town.

It's the Winter Theatre Festival here and so we took the opportunity of going to see a version of The Three Sisters at the Kamerini 55 theatre this evening. It was tough going mostly because the script had been cut and the four performers from Mostar just told the story of the Prozorovs' relationship with the dashing Vershinin and the cuckolded Fiodor (both played by the same actor.) All this put Masha firmly at the centre and a black and white comparison between the two men was evident throughout. With all other sub-plots expunged, the actors filled the gaps, and scene changes with meditations on the play in direct address monologue. All this might have worked had the acting been stronger - but there was a sense of forced emotion and clumsy staging which gave a dark and cliched air to the whole proceeding. Perhaps it's all lost in translation, but this seemed a Chekhov for unremitting masochists. Still the space was gorgeous and it's good to start to understand what's being programmed.

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