Photo © by Vladimir Vyatkin
In Paris, a group of young artists get together for Christmas supper. In their minds, war is a remote prospect, a merely rhetorical eventuality, a literary subject. But the year is 1913, and in a few months they will experience all the unimaginable horrors of reality.
Someone has described Guerra (War) as a “cruel operatic ballet”, meaning that everything in this show is music and movement: from the words said and sung by the actors to the percussive military marches; from the gas-masked choreographies to the zigzagging motions of a giant chandelier that crashes down on stage, suggesting a grand world on the verge of extinction. This production, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2014, World War I’s centenary year, is a disturbing incursion into the sights and sounds of war that challenges art’s power to deal with devastation. It comes from Moscow, through the agency of the Chekhov International Theatre Festival and stage director Vladimir Pankov, the artistic director of SounDrama Studio, one of the finest projects in contemporary Russian theatre.
In October, war drums will sound again at the TNSJ, as Karl Kraus’ The Last Days of Mankind takes the stage by storm on the south side of Batalha Square, under the direction of Nuno Carinhas and Nuno M Cardoso.
War | Guerra
at the Teatro Nacional São João do Porto, Portugal
Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington,
Notes of a Cavalry Officer by Nikolai Gumilev,
The Iliad by Homer
Director | Vladimir Pankov
Stage and Costume Designer | Maxim Obrezkov
Music | Artem Kim, Sergei Rodyukov
Choreographer | Ekaterina Kislova, Sergei Zemlansky
Libretto | Irina Lychagina
Lighting Designer | Nikolai Surkov
Sound Designer | Anton Feshin, Mikhail Fateev
General Producer | Valery Shadrin
Cast | Evgenia Simonova, Valery Garkalin, Pavel Akimkin, Andrey Aminov, Evgeniy Barkhatov, Maria Biork, Olga Demina, Alexey Lysenko, Pyotr Markin, Ignat Matioukhov, Sergei Permyakov, Vera Romanova, Irina Ryndina, Ilya Malanin, Grigoriy Spiridonov, Seseg Khapsasova, Alisa Estrina
Co-produced by the Chekhov International Theatre Festival, Edinburgh International Festival
In collaboration with SounDrama Studio
Opened on 9 August 2014
at the Edinburgh International Festival, Scotland
Performances at the UTE's member theatre
Teatro Nacional São João do Porto, Portugal
5 and 6 Feburary 2016, 9 p.m.
Show in Russian and English with Portuguese subtitles.