Like any art form, theatrical live performances envelop the mind with a mysterious magic that reaches deep into the senses and leaves behind beautiful memories. The theater always manages to present to its diverse audience a fantastic experience, which at the same time detaches from reality, but also reminds of it in a delicate and artistic way, making us see things more philosophically and in perspective. Theater preaches values ​​and provides important life guidance while entertaining us. All the stories recreated on the theatrical stage, albeit different in genre and specificity, make one common call: to keep the human in ourselves no matter what. That is why theater is not only a reflection of reality, but a strong incentive for moral and intellectual development.

Today, theatrical art in Bulgaria enjoys a heightened interest in viewers. Even more joyful is that there is a growing number of endlessly talented actors and actresses ready to do their best to make the audience excited and happy. A dazzling dedication to the profession and world-class artistry is evident in every performance. But do not think that these actors are not facing difficulties. Just the opposite. Many Bulgarian actors with talent and good professional training find it difficult to find a job. Few people get the chance to play the stage, much less those who get invited to make movies or series. The few who still work in the state for a theater rarely get paid to match their skills and experience. Abroad, Bulgarian actors have a good chance of playing the role of an Eastern European character, a Croatian, a Serb or a Russian, but opportunities for such roles do not often appear, and when this happens, competition is fatal. That is why it is important for those who deeply value art and culture not to stop supporting the theater, because when the halls are filled, the theaters will be more inclined to expand the repertoire of performances, which will increase the demand for actors.

I propose a modest list of titles of performances, which are currently very popular in Bulgaria.

Spinach with potatoes

Spinach with potatoes

The unique trio of Zahari Baharov, Julian Vergov and Vladimir Karamazov created the Three Bears label with the idea of ​​being a creative project that would give free expression to their view on different topics, but also to allow to the audience to enjoy their magnificent acting. Under the hat of the Three Bears came three productions that marked the 2015 year: Spinach with Potatoes, Dakota and Art, the first of which was recognized as the highest grossing. The crowded theaters and the ensuing national tour proved that the Bulgarians continue to appreciate the really good theater and that is very good news.

Spinach with potatoes is a true feast for the mind and senses. The play shows the far less glamorous side of football refereeing. We manage to peek into the three-judge room shortly before the start of the football game. This is how we unwittingly witness the curious conversations about life, career and marriage presented through the emotional prism of each of the characters. The more imperfect the characters are, the more likable the audience becomes. The dialogues are served with copious amounts of contagious humor, and the acting does not cease to amaze.

The truth is that when Julian Vergov, Zahari Baharov and Vladimir Karamazov take the stage, the atmosphere instantly changes. The audience falls into another dimension, where they are given the rare opportunity to enjoy a truly quality performance, free from commercial ideals, dedicated solely to the pursuit of freedom in creative thinking. And so unnoticed, The Three Bears emerge as a rather curious phenomenon, which shows that the Bulgarian theater is stubbornly climbing up the ladder of development. The author of the play is Zoltan Egreshi. 

Lieutenant Benz  

Lieutenant Benz

                                                                                                                                                             "Beauty is a banal quality in many women. The real charm comes from the inner flame of the individual. "

~ Dimitar Dimov

Lyubomir Kovachev, Sanya Borisova and Ivaylo Zahariev are the stars in the theater play, inspired by the eponymous novel by the great Bulgarian writer Dimitar Dimov. Lieutenant Benz tells the romantic story of a beautiful, married woman and a military doctor. With their inherent mastery, Lyubomir Kovachev and Sanya Borisova manage to recreate the painfully contradictory relationship between Elena and Benz, which inevitably develop into a psychological conflict with fatal consequences. We are witnessing a clash between love longing and a sense of duty. We see an emotionally unstable character, torn apart by the desire to be with the woman she loves and the sense of duty to her homeland. Only a shattering story of love and sacrifice can awaken the longing for forgotten values. With their inherent charisma and influential dialogues, the three actors deliver a truly memorable audience experience. And the flames of emotion continue to fade into our hearts days after we left the room.

Funny Man's Dream

The Dream of the Funny Man is a one-man show based on Dostoevsky's text, presented on the stage by the immensely talented Marius Kurkinsky.

In the beginning, Marius' one-man shows are always characterized by a particular transcendence, an emotion that remains alive long after their end. As a true master of drama, Marius manages to tell a difficult story in an extremely engaging way, causing the audience to experience a variety of gloomy, highly possessive and so real feelings. Only an artist who recognizes himself in his character can make such a strong impact.

Marius' character gives his personal confession about life, sharing the pain of the world's refusal to accept it. Torn by internal torments and contradictions, the idea of ​​ending his life seems to bring a cure for deliverance. And then the hero is put to sleep. Merging completely with the searching, restless and confused soul of his character, the actor experiences a long series of emotions, revealing the inner world of the "funny man".

Alone, sitting in a reclining armchair, Marius rules the stage. His words engulf like lightning and create an explosion of thoughts and experiences that subjugate the mind and the senses. As the climax approaches, the impact becomes so intense that it creates the feeling that there is not a human being on stage, but a human-shaped being possessing supernatural powers.
Each of us can recognize ourselves in the "funny man" because each carries some emotional burden that he prefers to keep deep hidden in the depths of his consciousness. Rarely are talents born like Marius Kurkinsky, but more importantly, they are still in Bulgaria.

Next year at the same time

Next year at the same time

Lilia Maravilla and Hristo Shopov are long-time favorites of the Bulgarian audience, not only in the theater but also on screen. It is not the first time for both of them the honor to recreate a romantic relationship. "Next year at the same time" touches on eternal themes such as love, infidelity, the sustainability of feelings over time, and the changes that occur in people at different stages of their lives. It is curious that the play addresses the problems of family relationships that sound so current today, despite the fact that it was written by Bernard Slade in the distant 1975. completely by chance in an intricate restaurant around the world, it is actually very real and moving. Although they both have families and halves they love, this does not prevent the spark of a forbidden love from burning and subsequently developing into a long-standing relationship. Shopov and Maravilla present themselves once again as a great tandem. Among them is a special chemistry that makes their game harmonious, sincere and deeply emotional. And the end brings delight to the audience.

Dinner Invitation

Dinner invitation

Dinner Invitation is a sad story for a crumbling family. The unexpected death of the mother and wife causes the family to gather for a fancy dinner. The idea is that everyone remembers the dead and expressed their respect. The widowed father has arranged a wonderful dinner and is expecting guests to arrive - his daughter, son and longtime family friend. Everyone gathers and the dinner begins. As the conversations unfold, the individual characters gradually reveal themselves. The masks fall. The atmosphere becomes tense. Although everyone is hiding the truth for themselves, but it gradually comes to light. The characters are not ready to accept the truth and this awakens a strange madness in them. After a dramatic clash caused by the outburst of the characters' feelings, the moment of sobering up comes.

When does a family relationship start to break? When people stop sharing and being honest in their relationships. Then an abyss of alienation forms, which over time becomes enormous in size, and there comes a time when a fatal outcome becomes inevitable. Therefore, instead of delving into the monotony of everyday life and maintaining the illusion of a seemingly happy life, it is better not to deprive loved ones of our love, but to make them feel loved and supported. This is the message the play carries.

Director of "The Dinner Invitation" is Teya Sugareva. Starring are actors Ivaylo Geraskov, Dariya Simeonova, Plamen Menasiev, Anton Grigorov and Martin Gyaurov.

Agents

AgentsThe main intrigue, in this much-loved comedy, revolves around four real estate agents. The financial crisis is challenging the business, and in an attempt to keep its profits, the company's management tightens the loop around agents' necks, requiring them to do the impossible. Logically, when a person is pressed against a wall, his or her instinct for self-preservation is activated and urged to perform extremes that often go beyond the boundary of morality. Desperate not to lose their jobs, agents are ready to turn any tricks in the name of a bargain.

Undoubtedly, the great success of the play is also greatly influenced by the fact that the actors are not any but the stars of Bulgaria's most successful undercover series for Bulgaria. Thanks to the play, the audience has the pleasure of watching their favorite faces live from the small screen, namely Mikhail Bilalov, Ivaylo Zahariev, Lyuben Kanev, Plamen Manasiev, Snezhana Makaveeva, Yosif Shamli and Robert Yanakiev. Another curious fact is that "Agents" is the directorial debut of actor Vlado Penev, who also won the hearts of viewers with his role as the charismatic, ever-struggling undercover commissioner.
It's not easy to determine what makes a play so appealing - whether it's an entertaining story or the presence of well-established actors who are splashing with charm and talent.

The Raven

GarwantIt is not the first time that Kalin Vrachanski and Teodora Duhovnikova have shown that they can be a fantastic team. I recall that in the series "Tree of Life" they played in a beautiful and convincing way in love couple, looking for their way to happiness.

In The Raven, we witness a tense emotional clash that traces the confused relationship between brother and sister. Love, hatred, regret and guilt reign in their relationship. A childhood event marks the lives of both of them forever. The siblings are trapped in a life trap and the longer they remain in it, the more they lose their identity and reason. Harmlessness and oppression reign. The feeling that the apathy and loneliness have been permanently settled in the characters' souls is gradually increasing. If they are unable to overcome their demons and to abandon the past, the siblings are on their way to complete spiritual destruction.

The Raven is the debut of young author Kalina Popianeva. The production has received several prestigious awards for theatrical art. In 2013, for her role as a sister, Theodora Duhovnikova received the award at the International Drum Theater Festival "New Bulgarian Drama". For the even more dramatic image of his brother, Kalin Vrachanski was honored with the Ivan Dimov 2013 Award of the Ivan Dimov Foundation of the Young Bulgarian Talents Foundation.

"Die Easy !?"

Die easilyBased on the Croatian text by Mate Matišić, "Die Easy !?", this is a production that focuses on the pressing topic of exile and the fate of people who live far from their homeland and loved ones. With the stealing of the well-known "Balkan thinking" to deceive the Western system (and in particular German), history cannot but sound relevant to all Balkan people. "Die Easy !?" is a performance of the Nikola Vaptsarov Drama Theater - Blagoevgrad, which quickly won the admiration of the audience and was declared the most successful for 2015. The main roles are the two young talents Igor Damyanov and Ivan Todorov. They reincarnate the image of two Croatian guest workers who share a flat in Munich and dream of seeing their wives again one day. With a lot of black humor and some sadness, Zinzo and Marinko cut the theme of life and death. In the end, Zinzo decides that the only way to get home is by staging his death. But things don't always go as planned.

It is a curious fact that this production was presented on the theatrical stage by other great actors - Todor Kolev and Valentin Tanev. It was their performance at 199 Theater that inspired the duo Damyanov and Todorov to update the text and include it in their repertoire. So, after some interruption, the witty Balkan play began to re-emerge from the 2015 stage and fill the theaters.

It is important that we support theater art because it carries those sobering messages that are often silenced by society and need to be remembered. Theater has the power to relieve care and problems while at the same time awakening values ​​and charging us with a large dose of culture. Lost in the magic of the theater, we are actually rediscovering our true self.

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