Friday, May 11, 2007

Fairly terrible (French) Swiss Georgian Co-production

Oy veh! 'Traveling round the world is just a waste of time if you return the same person as you left' by Jamel Mahmoud. Hmmmm, dangerous to have 'waste of time' in the title of this event.....

It was a coproduction funded by the Swiss Embassy. Not sure that anyone Swiss was there, though there was an artistic looking young woman with Swiss-looking shoes. It took place in the Atoneli theatre, a tiny theatre in the backyard of some buildings down the road from the Marriott Hotel; I might have walked past it, had I not clocked a woman carrying a sprig of lilac, and followed her (one knows the symptoms of theatre goers!).

The theatre itself has some 88 seats, in rows of benches rising up rapidly. Can be a problem if you have bare knees and the person in front of you has a ponytail that tickles past your legs constantly.

The play was a continuation of last year's film 'One Soldier's Story'. Those of us with a musical bent know of course Stravinsky's 'Soldier's Tale', and since a violin and piano were also advertised I had some tiny hopes. And right enough, the summary of the film they showed broadly appeared to reflect the Stravinsky story line. Except that it had a happy end, with the soldier rescuing his sweetheart from her deathbed. The word 'amateur' comes to mind, especially when you see village residents acting, but glancing towards the camera at the end of every scene, or when you have a scene in a house and through the windows you see cars passing by, while otherwise it seems that the story is set a very long time ago.

The story then went on live, on the stage, for about 5 minutes, as 'what happens next' continuing from the film, before drifting off into another film that, frankly, my dog could have shot. Looked like a bunch of amateurs running about in Vake park in Tbilisi, sweeping stairs, going for a meal; my lack of Georgian did not matter, since there was no dialogue anyway....Did I mention that the live acting was in a mixture of Georgian and French? I left after half an hour, and was the 7th person, out of a total audience of about 45, to leave.

I think the Swiss can do better than this. What irritates me most is that the ticket price was not much less than in the very high class, highly professional Rustaveli theatre. Value for money, eh?


varske said...

maybe following ladies carrying lilac is not such a good strategy.