Friday, December 07, 2007

Another President Play

It's Tbilisi, it's the Rustaveli Theatre, it's a premiere - it's a president play ('Birdie died in the glen' - go figure - it may be part of a Georgian poem not very well translated). Remember that democracy is a bit fragile in Georgia - exactly a month ago today the teargas and the soldeiers were streaming down the main street. Today the soldiers were streaming down the street again, to the Rustaveli Theatre where they watched the performance - three rows of them in uniform. It must have given the creeps to folk on the street seeing the soldiers wandering along.

Anyway, theatre here (and the Rustaveli under Robert Sturua in particular) seems to see it as its role to propose democracy and expose the weaknesses of those against democracy, ie currently the President. Someone thought that this was a very dangerous play at this time. I don't know. The same theatre has another play on the same theme, 'The Soldier, Love, Bodyguard and ...the President'. Frankly, they are both much of a muchness, portraying the President of Georgia, played by Beso Zanguri in both shows - it's the likeness - as a womaniser, who likes to wear his wife's clothes (an impossibility in real life given the different sizes of both), married to a foreign wife (yes), a rather paranoid person surrounded by security guards who he can or cannot trust, by friends who he can or cannot trust and so on. This play, in one very long act (about 100 minutes), does not have much of a plot, other than the signing, or refusal to sign, of some document. He has conversations with different people, but never more than one other person at the time (they hardly ever talk to each other or are on the stage with each other). There's a live pond on stage which both women have to jump into at some stage, but otherwise it's not very interesting.

I would be inclined to go and see 'The Soldier' etc; it is a bit more interesting. Or maybe it was because it was the first president play I had seen.

Don't think I would be rushing back to see this again. Thankfully it was being translated by the same deadpan person who has translated earlier, otherwise it would be quite unbearable.

In the foyer before the show I saw David Papuashvili, father (I think) of Zaza Papuashvili, both of whom I have on the DVD with that soft-porn film 'Georgian grapes' [and that dreadful German film]. I congratulated him on the film I had seen but tried to mumble its title - other people were present.