Monday, November 13, 2006

bovna ara bovna

Last night Hamlet in the theatre, produced by Robert Sturua. Another zany, funky performance!

The set was very plain - a bare stage, with a wall consisting of room-height coloured plastic panels at the back. This caused a severe draft from the stage. The characters wore generally normal clothes, eg trench coats etc, but with colourful patchwork edges, and other such little details. It was a bit confusing that Hamlet's mother (dressed as a 1920s flapper) and King Claudius were younger than Hamlet himself....

Sturua seems to go in for a lot of song and dance; even in Hamlet, though less of the song. Some of the music (Kancheli's music) was from his piece 'Styx' which Sturua has set another play to. It was a very closely choreographed performance - very funny and very colourful. A character moving like a person with cerebral palsy represented the ghost. Hamlet kept changing costumes, seemingly like someone with multiple personality disorder. The deaths were never quite final. The plot was a bit difficult to follow (not having read it in advance....) but the speech 'To be or not to be' was very clear...Hamlet came to the front of the stage, wondering what to do, behind him were a crowd of people whispering 'bovna ara bovna', suddenly Hamlet burst into finest Queen's English 'to be or not to be'.... and that was the end of the speech. Which makes me think that liberties were taken with the text....

It's definitely one to see again (even though it is long), next time with more preparation. Someone said that they had heard that the Georgians are the best interpreters of Shakespeare apart from the English. There certainly is a lot of Shakespeare going on - I could have seen the Midsummer Night's Dream a couple of nights before.


Jessica said...

Hi from London! I just managed to translate your blog into Arabic, which I can't understand but looks very pretty. Do you have any idea how accurate the Google translations are, or whether they increase your number of visitors? Sorry to be nosy...

Hope you've now warmed up after your mountainous ordeal, not to mention all the bovna at Hamlet.

All the best,

violainvilnius said...

Hi Jessica

the translation is the best I have ever seen, but as in totally precise it is not! I remember the First Lady's 'elbow' being translated as an 'angle piece' - you know those bits of metal you sometimes use to screw bits of wood together with. I don't know if it increases the readership - I am still building that up. The flags look nice, though (you get them from www.bloggeruniversity.blogspot.com).

All warm again now, thanks!