7th Festival 1997

Main programme

Freitag 14. Nov. // 19.30 – 21.15 Uhr

Akademisches Theater Litauen, Vilnius

»The old woman«

(»Die Alte«)

Stück nach Daniil Charms und Alexander Wedenski

Deutschlandpremiere der Version II


Oskaras Koršunovas


Zilvinas Kempinas


Juozas Statkevicius


Gintaras Sodeika


Remigijus Bilinskas, Vaidotas Martinaitis, Eglė Mikulionytė, Sarūnas Puidokas, Arūnas Sakalauskas

In litauischer Sprache (Die deutsche Textfassung ist mit dem Kartenvorverkauf und an der Abendkasse kostenlos erhältlich.)

»Once more I am looking around my room and see someone sitting in my easy-chair at the window ... Oh my God, isn't that possibly the old One? Yes, indeed, there she sits and is letting her head inch down to her chest. She must have taken a nap ... The old one doesn't move. Her mouth is half open and sticking out of it, protruding, is a set of steel dentures. Then, suddenly it dawns on me: the old one is dead« (Daniil Charms).

»The old woman« by Daniil Charms is a blend of absurd novel and detective story. Charms was born 1905 in St. Petersburg and is considered the Russian Kafka and classic of modern black humour. In 1927 he was a co-founder of the »Oberiu«, a leftist avant-garde attempt with the aim to change basic principles of Russian art. The Soviets banned this, Dadaism-allied, association in 1932. Charms died 1942 while incarcerated during the siege of Leningrad.

Oskaras Koršunovas, born 1969 in Vilnus, has been fascinated for a long time by Daniil Charms. »Charms manages to laugh at the world and himself with his eyes full of tears. Charms is incredibly honest about himself ... I belong to a generation which lived through the collapse of ideologies. Today, since all truth has vanished, Charms has become a sort of brother to us.« Koršunovas dedicated a trilogy to »Oberiu«, which also includes »The old woman« (after tales and diaries by Charms and the stage production »Conversation or dispute« by Alexander Wendenski).

Koršunovas studied at the national conservatory in Vilnius, directs since 1990 at the Academic State Theatre of Lithuania and belongs among the most important young producers in eastern Europe. His productions could be seen in countless cities, among them Copenhagen, Vienna, Nancy, Moscow and Berlin, and received awards at international festivals, for example in Edinburgh, Torun and St. Petersburg. An invitation to perform two of his productions (among them also »The old woman«) in July 1997 during the Avignon festival is the pinnacle of his previous endeavours.

»›The old woman‹ is a unique marvel with a completely unexpected imaginativeness and its direction brims over with humour. The existential fear, the fear of the world we live in, are the crucial topics of Charms as well as of this production in which the absurdity of existential being and the perception of a mystical, somewhat ordinary reality reach their climax. Everything contributes to it: the two-toned stage setting, the moon's presence, the coffin ...« (Llona Martson, Pühapäevaleht, Festival Balto-Scandal, Parnu, 1995).

Uraufführung: 07.12.1994, Vilnius