Griboedov Theater Opens 171th Season with Finnish Collaboration ‘Frozen Images’

On October 7, the Tbilisi Alexander Griboedov Russian Drama Theater opened its 171th season with the performance ‘Frozen Images’ within the framework of the Georgian showcase of the Tbilisi International Theater Festival.

Frozen Images is a co-production of the Griboedov Theater with Finnish theatrical company Sadsongscomplex:fi.

Directed by Jari Juutinen, and with playwright Kristian Smeds, it was performed by the students of Shota Rustaveli State University of Theater and Cinema: Kristine Beruashvili, Khatia Beruashvili, Mikheil Gavasheli, Davit Kotov, Demetre Nakopia, Vladimer Novosardov, Sopi Chalashvsili and Gvantsa Sharvadze (Avtandil Varsihashvili’s Atelier).

Frozen Images is a typical story: Frustration, deeply emotional experience, indifference, lost years and searching for the sense of life in daily vanity. Everything has its own name… And still, it is all about love, which is supreme and the strongest of all.

“The playwright won a big prize for ‘New Theatrical Realities,’ won by many such excellent creators,” Jari Juutinen told GEORGIA TODAY. “This co-production comes from a two year relationship with Georgia theater- I directed a play in Liberty Theater, ‘Juliet, Juliet,’ and my performance ‘Sad Songs from the Heart of Europe’ was presented at the Tbilisi International Theater Festival two years ago. Finns will see the show based on the original Finnish version, staged 20 years ago. I love the strong aesthetics of Georgian theater and the adaptation of this play for co-production; it works- the strong way you do classics and the way I do the contemporary,” he said.

This is the play about alienation within society, filled with sorrowful people: a single mother who works extremely hard and still struggles, drinking in despair; a priest who wears no cassock and attempts to console the people that Christ loves each of them. “But until God himself wills to summon somebody, he/she will not be able to approach the Lord.” He points out that people misuse their logical gift and are on the path to degradation rather than evolution. “However, there is an way: you have to awaken,” he concludes.

Mrs. R.M. a Georgian lady in her mid-fifties seated in the audience told GEORGIA TODAY after the show: “Having seen this performance, I realize that I am too mature for such sharp feelings. My perception is totally different towards reality now. I think it would have touched me more 20 years ago. At my age, much more simple things make me happy. I understand it all but I judge things much more rationally now.”

Written in 1996 while Smeds worked in the Baltics, the play has been translated into English, German, Danish, Russian, Estonian, Catalan and Hungarian. In addition to numerous Finnish productions, Frozen Images has been performed by the Associacio Artitistica IndiGest in Spain.

Shortly after the opening of the theater, the performance “Frozen Images” went on to tour Finland, where the local audience will attend it in three theaters in of Helsinki.

Such guest performances are made possible with the support of the Tbilisi City Hall Cultural Events Center.

Frozen Images can be seen on Griboedov Theater’s Small Stage as a part of its repertoire. The grand stage is still undergoing repairs and is expected to re-open at the end of November.

Maka Lomadze

13 October 2016 19:50
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