Nekrosius and the force of art

“Meno Fortas,» meaning «force of art» in Lithuanian, is the name Eimuntas Nekrosius gave his theater company. Meno Fortas is presenting its production of Shakespeare’s «Macbeth» for the first time in Greece at the Herod Atticus Theater tonight and tomorrow. The performance, directed by Nekrosius, is part of the Hellenic Festival and the Cultural Olympiad. Stanislavski prize The Lithuanian director (who won a UBU prize for his direction of «Macbeth» and the K. Stanislavski prize for his overall contribution to the theater), spoke to the press on Monday, but he didn’t want to say much: «The performance will speak,» he said. The production has received high praise from critics abroad. Though Nekrosius uses excerpts from the play, he reassures us that «Shakespeare is safe; he remains the same as he has been for centuries.» In this and other works, Nekrosius uses the play as a stimulus in order to recount the emotional storms of his heroes, while employing stage props in unusual ways to suggest meanings, images and signs. Nekrosius comes from a country that has recently become an autonomous state. He speaks with affection of Russia, where he studied: «I love the people, I watch them and worry about their progress. The Russian people have many fine things: music, literature and art in general.» Commenting that his country doesn’t have strong traditions, and has incorporated some elements of Russian tradition and culture, Nekrosius added, «If I did something in the theater in a Russian way, it wouldn’t be good.» Reticent and precise, Nekrosius is like someone who wants both to throw off and to incorporate traditions and knowledge. As a representative of the culture of a small country, he is quite clear about the way in which the cultural output of small countries – which also face the obstacle of a minor language – can stand out. «Only quality can help recognition. You have to show something very different and then there is no obstacle.» Since Meno Fortas’s founding in 1998, it has staged its productions in many parts of the world, and in 2001 it became a member of the Union of Europe’s Theaters. At the Herod Atticus Theater, the performances of ‘Macbeth’ start at 9 p.m. and last 3 hours 50 minutes. De l’Amour