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Wednesday, 21 March 2018


Decameron in Georgian style. Philosophy instead of sex

2011-03-31 14:59

15306.jpegGeorgia hosts the premiere staging of Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron - a set of erotic short stories yet untackled by Georgian directors. Levan Tsuladze has given it a try, and the "human comedy" by the Italian writer of the Renaissance appears absolutely new in his interpretation. As the author says, this is a story about ways "the world goes mad".


The Decameron premiere in Kote Mardzhanishvili State Drama Theater aroused unheard-of interest of the public. Yesterday was the first night. "There were so many people inside that some had to stand in the aisles", - Lela Ochauri, a theater critic, told in an interview with GeorgiaTimes.

- Coming out after the performance, the foyer was packed and there was no room to walk freely. People's expectations were great. Mardzhanishvili Theater is always packed, particularly when Levan Tsuladze presents his works.

There was another reason for the full house - Decameron has never been staged in Georgia because of too immodest episodes. Some lucky men could see Tsuladze's production in autumn 2010 at a press show as part of Tbilisi International Theater Festival. The director's decision to postpone the official premiere of his interpretation is not incidental. The staging has undergone considerable changes over the past nine months.

- As far as I know, Tsuladze, has considered the staging thoroughly, - Ochauri underlines. - Basically, it is not typical of him. He is a kind of director that can produce an accomplished work in a couple of weeks or months. But this story is complicated. He had to write a play on the basis of it on his own. He had to arrange the performance dramatically, move the action onto the scene and bring it to life with the help of art plastique and visual art. I know it took him several weeks of solitary work to define each mise-en-scene. Certainly we hoped to see the result as soon as possible but he knew it would wrong to be in a hurry. This staging is much deeper than the level of emotions and first impressions. That was the reason of delay, I guess.  

The result met all expectations. The exalted audience was applauding for a long time.

Boccaccio's short stories recently staged in Russia looked frivolous, joking and light. Georgian Decameron is entirely different from the original against this background, as well as Pier Paolo Pasolini's movie marked "under 16 not allowed". Italian stories interpreted by Tsuladze look quite chaste. Actors are decently clad, and their characters are not absorbed in love problems.

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