Hello and welcome to Chicago! We would like to introduce our readers to you by asking you a few questions before talking about the play and the performance in Bulgaria and around the world.
- Mr. Tanev, you are involved in countless theater productions, film productions, television series. You were also the host of the infamous Lords of the Air. Where do you feel best? What is your spiritual home?
Valentin Tanev: Where I enjoy working. Sometimes it is nice in the theater, sometimes it is not. It all depends on the company you work with, the play, the place, the same goes for cinema and television. I would say it is more dynamic and exhaustive on TV, because I am a person who always strives to be prepared, and there is no time on TV and almost never is well spent.
- Ms. Petrova, you are known to the Bulgarian audience as an incredibly talented and beautiful actress, and you have a great experience in front of a camera with films of great importance in Bulgarian cinema, such as "Goat Horn" 1994, "Border", "Journey to Jerusalem, "The Wolf's Haiku Series." You were also the "Woman of the Year" in Bulgaria in the "actresses" category. Do you want to tell us the secret, how all this is achieved and how the love of the audience is won?
Elena Petrova: First, I want to say that I am very happy that on another continent I can talk and have a relationship with the Bulgarians in Chicago and around the world. If I figure out the secret, it means that by 4 seconds I'll die. I cannot understand this secret, and I think it is the greatest "enigma" of this profession. You just live inside it, it is part of your heart, your psyche, your emotions, and reaching it is actually the best way. The aspiration is to understand how this magic happens, but it really happens when it has all the components: good performance, good dramaturgy and good actors. I think the silence, the laughter, the applause from the audience is a testament to this connection between the audience and the stage.
- Mr. Donkin, the Bulgarian audience knows you very well from your great roles in theater and cinema. You are the great king Simeon in the movie "The Golden Age", Lazar in "The Five of Moby Dick", Gulev in the series "Home for Our Children", as well as lawyer Stamenov in the series "Payback". What is the force that helped you become one of the most established names in Bulgarian cinema and theater?
Marius Donkin: Probably vocation and upbringing. Without vocation, nothing can happen, and from there on, education, as a character for the ability of a person to realize his vocation. The period we were living in then (I do not bother to talk about it) in this totalitarian system made it possible for a person to taste many meals and decide which one they liked. There were all sorts of cultural activities and circles in the school and in the pioneer homes. One could understand what he liked, and thus naturally reaching the age of one and graduating from high school, he understood what was pleasant and interesting to him. In this way, gaining self-confidence and knowledge of himself, he was given the opportunity to walk the right path, his way in life, finding himself. Education in the formative schools, colleges, does not give much opportunity to the modern youth, and very often we see a picture that is an expression of this anxiety, lack of knowledge and an opportunity to find oneself in life. Being able to understand that it doesn't matter if you are popular, the important thing is that you get to work. It brings both pleasure and meaning to this life. It is extremely important that you do not run away from yourself.
- Thanks! Now it's time to tell us about the play "The Marriage Illusion" or at least a little about it, so as not to publish its plot completely.
Valentin Tanev: It is written by Eric Asus, who has a Moliere Award and carries with him a very thin psychological "suspense" that is related to jealousy, infidelity and suspicion in the relationship between husband and wife, husband and wife, friend, etc. . This is something that is very thinly captured by the author and for this reason when we first played it we thought we would only play it 4-5 more times and it will be. The play has already been played over 100 times.
- Do people recognize themselves in the play?
Valentin Tanev: Yes, they recognize their relationship with a sense of humor, and when we introduced it to Toronto, they were quoting from a play they remembered.
- What is the story behind your characters?
Marius Donkin: A daily story that can happen to anyone. In order for a dramaturgical text to translate its message, it must always be a life or everyday event. The plot must be taken out of our lives, close to us, from there on, one can now easily enter the situation and accordingly influence itself positively, negatively, etc.
- Mr. Tanev. What is your role in the play?
Valentin Tanev: The role of a family friend who is really an "enigma".
- When and where did you first introduce it?
Valentin Tanev: 4 years ago. It was a co-production with the National and Vratsa Theater and for the first time we presented it in Vratsa.
Elena Petrova: This play has a life of its own that we never knew existed. We started doing it in a lot of extreme situations. I was very busy because I was shooting Glass House, as well as my colleagues with their engagements. We got together "like magic" to do it very quickly. At first the drama seemed a little obscure because of the French taste. We wondered if the viewers would understand the way these people talk, because we are passionate people, Balkan people, different, and here is a "bonnet" (good manners), the characters stand above the problems, look from the side. And that's the good thing about this playwright. The play has auto-irony and a very good sense of humor, which is very valuable. We have presented the play in the last 4 years almost all over Bulgaria.
- How was it then?
Valentin Tanev: Surprisingly very well. Stormy. Marius and Helen were very worried because you never guess what would come out, but our surprise was very big here. I can say that for so many years of working in theater, I still can't figure out why. Maybe because people recognize relationships, they may not be personal but relatives and friends or their own insights.
- Where is it represented in the world so far?
Valentin Tanev: We have not traveled abroad. We are now introducing it to Canada and America for the first time.
- How exactly did this play come into your hands? How did the idea for her come about or was it the decision of the director Boyko Iliev?
Marius Donkin: All in all, it happened by accident, but in order for the act of chance to happen as a fact, it must be a coincidence, because in chance a person, when he encounters a fact, will pass and pass when the person is not ready. For example, at the moment I am playing a one-man show "Mr. Ibrahim and the flowers of the Koran." The idea embedded in it excites me greatly.
Valentin Tanev: Director Boyko Iliev found the play, the translator had roughly translated it, we read it, but initially we were slightly reserved. This is the type of play that you have to bring out very cleanly, at first glance it is very easy, but not really.
- What would you wish for Bulgarians scattered around the world?
Valentin Tanev: First and foremost, the chance is that they can naturally use it. And to come back to Bulgaria more often, it is very sad and empty without them.
Marius Donkin: To go home, be in good spirits and very healthy. This will give them the opportunity to more seriously preserve, restore the true human values of the Bulgarians. And in my opinion they are also human. To preserve our love, our mutual assistance, our compassion and our compassion. Which naturally will bring us together in one unity.
Elena Petrova: Love each other a lot and keep them healthy.