Exciting spring theater festival

According to the French daily Le Monde, the world of August Strindberg fits Charlotte Rampling «like a glove.» The British actress is currently performing in «La Dance de Mort» at the Theatre de la Madeleine in Paris until Friday. Critics are hailing her sensitivity, stage intelligence and maturity in the role of Alice, a former leading theater actress who has given up her career for her marriage. Greek audiences will get a chance to enjoy Rampling’s performance during the Attiki Cultural Society’s third spring festival. Directed by Hans Peter Cloos and co-starring Bernard Verley and Didier Sandre, the performance is one of the festival’s five productions. The festival opens on May 9 (with additional performances on May 10 and 11) at the Horn Theater, with Peter Brook and «The Grand Inquisitor,» an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevski’s «The Brothers Karamazov,» starring Bruce Myers. The story unfolds in Seville during the dark times of the Spanish Inquisition: A man who looks like a reincarnation of Jesus Christ (a silent part) is arrested and interrogated by the Grand Inquisitor. Strindberg’s «La Dance de Mort» follows at the Pallas Theater on May 12 and 13. Also at the Pallas, the Royal Shakespeare Company will stage «Richard III» on May 21 and 22. In this production, Shakespeare’s play is adapted by Sulayman Al-Bassam in the form of an Arabian tragedy featuring a live orchestra and 28-member acting troupe. The play takes place in the feudal society of the desert palaces, where oil reigns supreme. Directed by Al-Bassam, the play is performed in Arabic with supertitles. The production takes a look at the often misunderstood wealth of the Arabian Gulf, commenting on its traditions, musical heritage and rituals. A world premiere is up next at the Pallas Theater on May 28, 29, 30 and 31, with a new production by Robert Wilson, who came up with the concept, and Turkish composer Kudsi Erguner. «Rumi: In the Blink of the Eye» features nine dancers, two vocalists and seven musicians from Istanbul. Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207-1273), a Sufi poet born in what is today Afghanistan, is considered the greatest of Sufi mystics and was the founding father of the Mevlevi Order, known as the Whirling Dervishes. For centuries, the Whirling Dervishes performed rituals unknown to the West, until travelers in the 19th century spoke about what they had seen on their travels. Over the last few decades, Whirling Dervishes have become a popular tourist attraction for European audiences. Wilson’s production aims to bridge two artistic sources: the tradition of the East, with all its mysticism and Sufi heritage, and contemporary Western creativity through narrative, movement and sound. The festival’s last production is scheduled to take place at the Pallas Theater on June 4 and 5. The production features a popular stage and cinema pair, namely Gerard Depardieu and Fanny Ardant, interpreting all the roles of Aristophanes’ «Lysistrata.» The performance, adapted from the original play by Laurent Dispot and directed by Jean-Paul Scarpitta, features Depardieu in the men’s roles and Ardant in the female parts.

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