In the collection of stories published by Alexander Chuck in 1938 Locked doors there is no shortage of gloomy moods and the presence of death – it brings with it both 93-year-old mothers and two-year-old boys. Death also comes into the story Chair, whose main character telegraph Juris Gulēns can not put up with the distrust of his beloved woman, about which he is told… furniture.
The fruit of copra
Director Andrejs Jarovojs, choosing to stage this story in the Ģertrūdes Street Theater in an online show or remote show, has abandoned the end of the story, which is important in prose work – Juris Gulēns goes to the courthouse, where the judge tries to interrogate his witness. It tries to tell the truth in its own language, but in vain. Instead of this scene, the director focuses on the world of sound that surrounds Gulena, who works on an uninhabited island and is slowly losing her mind, allowing her distorted mind to talk to a kaploga or fan box.
All three actors employed in the production are mentioned as co-authors, and this is a hint that the result is the fruit of co-creation through labels. This explains the disproportion between the extended exposure and the hasty solution, but here the responsibility still lies with the director as the framer of the “overall picture”.
Gertrudes Street Theater’s interest in sound design as an almost driving force of the show is also reflected in Liena Šmukste’s audio sensation show You have burnt ears, in which the story created by Anete Konste is fused into the sound landscape so that it does not read from itself, but requires decipherable in the imagination of each listener. The technical means by which sounds are produced are irrelevant, as they are audio performances. In the case of the chair it is different – here at some point the process of creating sounds becomes an important part of the show, appearing at the bottom of the screen by Edgars Samītis and Sandija Dovgāne, who create sounds with various aids. it is also done by one of the hands, and the sound comes right from there. At some point, the sound-making process even takes over most of the screen by sliding the character down.
Outside of everyday life
This representation of the imaginary world takes about half an hour, which conjures up a peculiar atmosphere, but it only prepares Chuck for the perception of the story, creating some difficulties in keeping the viewer’s attention with it. And then the director rapidly changes the method and moves on to the conversation between the person and the subject, namely, Yuri and Kaplogue. Problems begin here, because the theatrical existence of Emīls Krūmiņš, and especially Edgars Samītis, is too robust to be able to clearly understand the director’s attitude towards the event. The story shows Chuck’s sympathy for a man tormented by loneliness, who allows himself to visions that destroy him, but the plot itself would allow him to play it in a distinctly grotesque key. It is only clear from the tangled dialogue that the kaplog, as a member of the imaginary interlocutor, is positioned in a mirror image, imitating Jura’s movements. However, Edgars Samītis’s everyday, albeit slightly exaggerated, form of expression is far from any secret or out-of-reality dimension, while Emīls Krūmiņa Juris has too much Latvian introvert, which makes his hero ordinary (in this case – not too exciting) and mundane, as it should not be. to be. Attempts to integrate the theatrical elements of the objects into the show also look awkward, especially at the moment when Sandija Dovgāne’s heroine “incarnates” in a dress, but the hanger is visible on the back.
Thus, the production remains at the level of a sketch, it lacks a logical solution that could be achieved by developing Emils Krūmiņš’s character’s dialogues with furniture – but then he would have to sacrifice drama in favor of more or less bright grotesque (but grotesque can be scary if played). And, of course, the full brilliance of the solo performance is robbed of the chair, which is ultimately the title character of the story. The talent of the designer of the set designer Rūdolfs Bekičs allows to turn the chair almost into a Frankenstein monster, but it has more of an illustrative sign load, no more.
Rūdolfs Bekičs’ distinctly prophetic environment, reinforced by Dina Beināre’s light score, requires a coordinated way of playing outside the framework of everyday life. If, of course, the show will be played at each show in March, instead of just showing a recording, the operator Valters Krūzkops can still vary with the camera’s capabilities, because the relatively distant overall plan, which at one time becomes dominant, neutralizes the attempt to reach a certain atmosphere. However, to fully enjoy the sound world of Normunds Balozs and Oliver Tarvid, headphones are definitely needed.
Of course, there are times when every theater’s initiative must be welcomed with applause, but the Twilight’s creative brigade has the opportunity to increase the effectiveness of the production by focusing more precisely on the intonation of the message.
Gertrudes street theater remote performance 5, 26.III at 19
Tickets biletes.git.lv EUR 15
Source: Diena.lv by www.diena.lv.
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