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Peter Brook and Anatoly Vasilyev: prison without walls – Culture

Saturday, March 10th, 2018 | bitcoin updates

Zinaida Fëdorovna will have to pay dearly for not understanding the true character of her husband and for giving her life completely guiltlessly and out of pure love to the official Georgy Ivanyk Orlov. Mavuso, on the other hand, is richly rewarded for taking a look into the depths of his soul after he has murdered his father out of jealousy. In Strasbourg, Anatoly Vasilyev makes a long dark journey of hell out of the small love triangle in Anton Chekhov's novel "Stories of an Unknown", in Paris Peter Brook makes a light-hearted short meditation out of his leaden guilt-and-atonement piece "The Prisoner". Both times it is about being captive, about seeing and the rare moments in which it leads to realization. Zinaida has separated from her husband, has moved to her lover, wants to set up a nice household there. But very gradually she has to realize that her newbie does not want to give up his bachelorhood and Zinaida becomes more and more a burden to him. Until he disappears for days and leaves the unfortunate alone. But whenever ex-actress Valérie Dréville bounces off her wishes with grumpy and authoritative Orlov (Sava Lolov), she jumps off the chair, dancing with childish pleasure simply ditching the impending insight into the character of the relationship. That's how life goes, watched by the servant (Stanislas Nordey). Like the couple, he is in a gray suit, in a colorless, semi-abstract saloon under an old Sankt Petersburg cityscape. The Adagietto from Mahler's 5th Symphony floats through the theater like an elegiac premonition. Good old theater is destroyed. That's all decent, good old theater – and it's destroyed. The Strasbourg director Stanislas Nordey, just a mute servant and secretly in love with Zinaida, jumps on stage in everyday clothes and tells in a long monologue the story of the first person character of the Chekhov novel. So just that unknown, who was hired as a servant of Orlov, to learn something about his hated father, the Orlov then kills. How he escapes and takes the unfortunate and pregnant Zinaida to Venice. The huge prospect with the cityscape falls spectacularly to the ground and gives the view of an old Venice etching free. Now the former servant is the unhappy love, despised for his wooden and programmatic advocated revolutionary ideas: "They are afraid of freedom," says Valérie Dréville as a pregnant Zinaida now in very shrill tones. Every remnant of psychological play culture is eradicated on an increasingly desolate stage landscape. In a nasty picture, Valérie Dréville pricks up the plastic fruit bladder strapped to her stomach, releasing a disgusting content into a bowl. In the end, the fiction of dream and freedom in the character of the acrobat Romanes Ressendren climbs up a mast where the spokes of a huge sunshade converge. All hope has died, but the beautiful dream survives in the circus.

To tell Chekhov's little, sinister story about the limits of freedom, Vasilyev takes a lot, maybe too much time. Pessimism lasts, optimism goes fast: Peter Brook needs just over an hour at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord to bring his protagonist out of a sinister guilt into the light of knowledge. He is helped by the exit from Western culture. A trip to Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion of 1979 and a meeting with a Sufi were the occasion for "The Prisoner", which Brook wrote with his longtime colleague Marie-Hélène Estienne. The Afghan Sufi master told the master director of a recommendation he gave to a judge. He should not put a criminal in jail, but let him sit in front of a prison until he sees the need for punishment. In complete freedom, he should experience spiritual expansion of consciousness instead of physical deprivation of liberty. This will also reveal to him when the punishment is over. Brook has gathered actors from Mexico, India, Sri LankaThen Hiran Abeysekera squats in the figure of Mavuso between pieces of wood on the bare stage, looking towards the spectators, where to suspect the prison is. He is a hermit in the sense of a meditation object that seems quite real to others. He finds out during a night visit to the prison director that political prisoners waiting to be executed await bored guards and the prison authorities about the comic saint and that this causes trouble in the prison. Even a resident from the village complains about the uninvited guest, who lives on basic food and experiences a short friendship with a rat: in a playful miniature, the protagonist transforms the tip of his cloth into the cute animal, which suddenly bites him and he incensed with the burlwood.A small world theater ensemble has gathered Brook: actors from Mexico, India and Sri Lanka. And he surrounds them, as we have known for decades, on the free playing area of ​​his Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord with nothing remotely reminiscent of a set design. Driftwood, a tree root, a bank, a few bright cloths are enough for a global Somewhere and Sometime, when there were forests with magic trees. "I am here to repair," says Mavuso again and again, and this is quite understandable in the religious sense of repentance. His guilt is of archaic proportions, enough for more than an ancient tragedy: he killed his father out of jealousy because he loved Mavuso's sister: incest of the father, incest of his son. As always, Brook staged the heavy-weight fairy tale of guilt and atonement quite easily, with just sketched illustrations of the parable. In the end, Mavuso's world has become a different one: the hatred for the father has vanished, his captivity over in obsessions. However, this is what piece and direction claim rather than the fact that they developed this in the spiritual purification process. Where Sophocles Oedipus has to pay for the blindness of the view, Brook allows his intact protagonist knowledge and freedom by virtue of Sufi wisdom through the cognitive trick of turning from inside and outside , The physical prison is lifted, no wall blocks the body in its movement. Instead, the mind sees the outer wall of a detention center as an image for inner captivity. Such mental magic tricks are not granted to Chekhov people, Zinaida kills herself. People do not change, says with Chekhov, the 76-year-old pessimist Anatoly Vasilyev, people can change says, using remote thinking cultures, the optimist Brook, who will turn 93 in a few days.


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