Konstantin Kisimov MDT presented a musical on "Misunderstood Civilization" by Dobri Vojnikov. After its premiere in the old capital, the show played in the country last season, to be staged at the 27 Scene of the Ages festival on July - with special participation by Albena Mihova (in the role of Evil). The audience in Veliko Turnovo welcomed the comedy revival with applause.
Putting "Misunderstood Civilization" is a challenge. In the first place, as a specific dramaturgical text, the work implies through dialogue, through language games and speech accents, through the functional workload of the word and the phrase, to show acting, to combine the messages with their humorous relief, with comedic effects, with satirical reproof. to achieve catharsis after a series of interconnected communication mismatches.
Discrepancies cause a reaction in the receiver. Evil's statements, for example, clash with Hadji Costa's instructive sharp remarks. The clash reveals the discrepancy between the idea of modernity and the inability to fully comprehend it, to make it public, to say it, between the perception of the foreign and the preservation of the native, the known. The discrepancies not only open up the possibility of a series of ridiculous scenes when the external, superficial vision displaces the true mastery, but also implies the asking of important questions for which there is no clear answer. Can tradition, however conservative as nature, remain closed to change and influence? Can words, behaviors, clothing be elevated without altering the intrinsic, the extrinsic? Can a person's belonging to a community be overturned against him? Is there a pluralistic order or social order that does not provoke the individual notion of meaning? The issue concerns the relationship between people and the environment, and more, communication and how the world is perceived and interpreted.
Turning the play into a musical requires exceptional directing skills and translating the "misunderstood", "distorted" into a full-fledged, enduring, syncretic form. The television version of 1974 by Hacho Boyadzhiev, with music by Deco Taralezhkov, is indicative. The "Misunderstood Civilization" musical, intended for the small screen, is one of the achievements that proves that a work can speak different languages, read over, as long as the dilemmas of "civilization" are known.
Writer and director of the new play is Boris Dulgerov. Aphis articles, as if out of the ordinary, that the myth of rediscovery works today, report that Dobri Voynikov's comedy is set for the first time as a musical on the stage. Adaptation, in fact, as it is briefly referred to, is highly indebted to the Hacho-Boyadzhi version - but not only because they both rely on Taralezhkov's compositions.
If we leave the influence aside, the successful moments in Dulger's production are due to music, people, orchestra and ballet. (Conductor is Vasil Valchev; choreography by Katya Bogdanova, choreographer by Janitsa Brunzelova, accompanist by Rositsa Tarapanova.) Their magnificent performances and precise stage design (by Lydia Kirkelanova) prove that there is a place for musicals and value in theater. As for the decors - especially practical but also typical - they are not unlike anything else, used for decades as a backdrop in many performances. The broken mirror in which Anka (Polina Petkova) looks around, with the suggestion that she does not see her real image, does not look into herself, but sees a distorted face, the cover of the "European" is among the few details that stand out and attach. an additional, second plan of the musical.
While the innovations in the script - English words, expressions, and bits and pieces of modern native spoken speech - while provoking laughter, cheered the audience, also led to "gaps" in the plot. Modernization can help bring the play closer to the present and to the audience, but at the same time it can "crush" the composition, failing the sequence and integrity of the plot. Without the ideological completeness of the work, the expressive tone, the general, lasting impact, is lost. Mixing the misunderstood "French" with the tendency to increasingly handle English combinations is an incompatibility that must be decided beforehand: whether we are working with the author's text, whether we are returning to Dobry Voynikov's artistic time and space, or modernizing the comedy. An option that simultaneously modernizes and preserves the Renaissance, in this case, "breaks" episodes of scenes, of which the only connection is the arch of musical themes and characters, some of which step on the finger, either in the past or in the present. Similar incompatibilities are often noticed in the new productions that deal with the works from the open treasury of the Bulgarian dramaturgy.
However, the Veliko Turnovo revival of "Misunderstood Civilization" seeks to unlock the potential strength of Soldier's work by synthesizing various arts. An attempt to characterize each of the characters through music, word, presence (clothing, accessories, manners, habits, habits) enriches the characters, opens a new field for the ideas they embody. But the overall impact loses its charge when the characters relate to epochs distant from one another, as a result of deliberate references, of the pursuit of modernization. It is not about the cues by which the perceptor learns more about Anka's inner world, by speaking out some of her thoughts, or by the song that should express her. The "overbearing", the typical "apostle of imaginary civilization" Margaridi (wonderfully played by Milen Ivanov) seems to sometimes belong to the illusory present, if judged in his words, while the heir to the traditional orders, the bearer of the native, the "avenger" of the robbed honor (Georgi Garlanov) comes from before the Liberation of Bulgaria in speech, behavior and clothing. As good as the acting is, as much as it wants to reach or even surpass what it did in the 70 years of the last century, the play remains in the shadow of television production, as it is heavily subordinated to the collage, to an amalgam of transitions: from chants, the norm of marriage, through the modern French dance of a century ago, led by Anka, to the sentences of today's street language.
Rather, the musical is reminiscent of a spectacle in which the spectacular side of the comedic is brought to the fore, in particular the conflict is formalized, with the ease of undetectable accumulation of ideas for modernity and their apparent quick exposition, their dressing in humor, with manifesto. , which shines enchantingly with the vibrant colors and heterogeneous speech poses, with the rude phrases and, with them, unspoiled archaic. Carnival of morals, characters, images, sounds. As a lavish spectacle in which it seems to rely on instantaneous reaction, short-term effect, fragmentary construction and associative connections, "Misunderstood Civilization" has an arsenal of anecdotal scenes included throughout as far as going through the comedy lyrics the music, the dance, the game to overcome the Bulgarian, native "civilization".
Although the weaknesses of the musical were still highlighted here, as they would not be addressed in other cases, there are undoubtedly a number of strengths, some of which were mentioned in passing. The applause of the audience, in response to a satisfied need, is well deserved.
After all, the revival of the Dobri-Soldier play raises the curtain for new and different adaptations that rely on previous achievements. Future performances, we hope, will overcome the plot incompatibilities, not for the sake of plausibility, but rather for the sake of precision in the messages and issues that themselves outweigh the temporal expressions, the seeming fashion, the tendentious.