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Ibsen’s Ghosts on the Georgian stage

By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, December 3
Mikheil (Misha) Charkviani is the winner of the 2013 Duruji prize as the best young director for “Katzelmacher”, staged at the Royal District Theatre. At this time, his interpretation of Norwegian playwright Henric Ibsen’s Ghosts premiered at Vaso Abashidze Music and Drama Theatre and caused great applause on November 27.

The majority of both younger and elder generation of theatre critics admitted that Charkviani has managed to show the internal condition of Ibsen’s characters on the stage. Davit Gabunia’s translation has preserved the depth of the original story.

Video projection, a glass door and a moving stage created a sense of reality.

Lasha Chkhartishvili thinks Charkviani keeps developing his skills as a director and remains stable. He said today Misha has proved that he can become a good director.

Merab Gegia expressed his gratitude towards the Director of the theatre, Davit Doiashvili, for such a varied repertoire and bravery for giving a platform to the younger generations to stage their plays at his theatre.

Gegia said he has been missing the real transformation, and passion from the stage and despite the modernistic details, Charkviani’s play has preserved the primary human values.

Buba Gogorishvili is Helene Alving – a wife of a womanizer husband who spent over a decade lying in a village house. In order to hide the truth about her husband from her only son, Frau Alving sent her son to boarding school. Oswald believed that his father was a really benevolent person, while in reality he was a drunkard and an adulterer - facts that Mrs. Alving kept hidden from Oswald and the community.

Pastor Manders, played by Zaal Chikobava, also did not know anything about Mr. Alving’s sins. After Frau Alving’s “confession”, the Pastor worried about the speech he had to deliver on the opening of a shelter organized by the Frau.

Oswald cannot get used to the calm lifestyle at the village after years spent among young bohemian painters. He takes pictures and depicts the everyday life on a camera, but can anyone guess where real life ends and hallucinations begin or vice versa?

Doiashvili recollected how the young director and his team were engaged in rehearsals. He said the main plus of the play is that “the director almost got lost in the artists” as the team wonderfully dealt with their roles. Doiashvili thinks Charkviani has used video projection in a unique way. The video installation played a significant part in expressing the idea of the play.

Charkviani thinks every character of his play “holds a flag.” He said when he was working on another play in Batumi he could see from the windows how a husband was beating a wife every day… However, instead of complaining about her husband, the woman kept on asking Charkviani and his team to stop calling to police. Thus, Charkviani said the main emphasis of his play is on women who allow men to use violence against them.

“If any issue can be more important than violence against women, I am afraid to live in this country,” Charkviani said stressing that he personally finds his play very timely.