story by Levan Tsuladze from the novel of Shalom Aleikhim and Guram Bariashvili
director, scenographer Levan Tsuladze
composer Vakhtang Kakhidze
costume designer Nino Surguladze
choreographer Gia Margania
assistant director Nino Kalandadze
Jewish lullaby performed by Neka Sebiskveradze
with Beso Baratashvili, Guranda Gabunia, Ana Grigolia, Barbare Dvalishvili, Ana Vasadze, Nato Kakhidze, Manana Kozakova, Nika Kuchava, Eka Nijaradze, Giorgi Kiknadze, Konstantine Roinishvili, Teona Kokrashvili, Nino Tsuladze, Giorgi Khurtsilava, Givi Chuguashvili
production Kote Marjanishvili State Drama Theatre
Running time 2h and 5′
Performance without text
Imagine as if we observe the lives of two big and happy Jewish families through closed window: we do not hear their voices but we feel their mood – great and contagious. Everyone from the families is joyous and triumphant, and to them, evil is a foreign and distant concept.
But destiny slowly alters their lives and one day peaceful and happy lives are suddenly threatened with utter destruction.
The time of heartbreak, betrayal and bitter disappointment starts. Nevertheless – they still try to direct the course of fate to their advantage. But the efforts are in vain – the future filled with anxiety, intense drama and tragedy awaits them.
It is as if everything has come to an end…
Yes, but it is impossible to defeat those who even in destruction are preparing themselves for a future triumph…
Begalut – In exile by Levan Tsuladze is a non-verbal performance staged in the drama theatre by means of verbal methods; there is no word but there are acts, plasticity, choreography, gestures, music and noise. There’s no word, but there is no silence here.
The scenes seem to be shaped by a film camera lens. The director uses the features specific for a silent film – including mise en scene and composition, editing the episodes and lighting design.
The story of two Jewish families met in exile – the families moved around the world in search for shelter and they settle down somewhere, in a foreign country.
The story of the Jews as a nation, as one of the nations who suffered most from a centuries old exile, is a leading theme in the performance.
The generalization of the play starts a bit later: a multidimensional and eternal story about an executioner and a victim, the story about good and evil, about despair and hope – a deep metaphor for destruction and survival.
«What we see on stage may as well be an illusion covered in mist, remote, yet familiar to us. Joyful, steeped in humor and happiness, extremely tragic at the same time. It’s real, but unreal from the other side. It’s somewhere on the edge, where everything is unexpected…»
Lela Ochiauri, Art critic
«…This two act silent performance is made in one breath with mind blowing episodes that rush towards the end… Truly, everything is at the verge of reality and fantasy here.
What happens here can only happen in theatre. And everything we see – becomes authentic and ‘real’.
…If we defuse the core motives of the work of our contemporary, Guram Batiashvili and the work of past century classic Shalom Aleichem (that the play is built upon) then, we’ll be able to tap the substance of being Hebrew: apart from, a few exceptions, they were in total ‘exile’, however nothing could shatter the spirit of their nation, nothing could alter their ways of life. They could always, in a vast space, create their own micro universe, in other words, a motherland. Neither the desert, nor the apocalyptic horsemanship, nor the ‘pogroms’ or the Holocaust could extinguish the divine fire of creativity.
Today Levan Tsuladze set this fire ablaze on the stage of Marjanishvili Theatre and the fire threw light upon the spectacle of deep meaning, awesome with its suddenness and variety…»
Nodar Gurabanidze, Theatre and life
Artistic director of Kote Marjanishvili State Drama Theatre – the recognized leader of Georgian Theatre, one of the most successful, creative, highly acclaimed stage directors, who truly changes and develops theater in most interesting way – has produced more than 40 performances in different cities and Theaters of Georgia and Internationally.
Levan Tsuladze came to Marjanishvili after the Basement Theatre – the first independent Theatre in Georgia, opened in 1997. The Theatre was a hallmark of new age, independence and new generations in culture; the Basement was the hub, that saved and brought new generation of audience. This little theatre with 100 seats was mostly popular place for Tbilisi citizens in mostly dark and hard times for the country.
In 2006 Levan Tsuladze after successful years in Basement was invited to Marjanishvili State Drama Theatre as an artistic director. Since then he leads the theatre to a very successful place and creates very special working and creative atmosphere. «One can create theatre even on the cover of match box»- he says, and his works mark new age of Georgian Theatre. Apart from Marjanishvili, Levan Tsuladze is invited to stage in Italy, Greece, Azerbaijan, Macedonia.
Levan Tsuladze is awarded with several prizes and honors: Independent Theatre Award “Duruji” for the best performance of a year – three time since the foundation of prize; presidential medal of Honor for achievements in theatre; prizes of Theatre Union of Georgia for best productions for several times.
“Athinorama” Award 2016, Best Director Athens, Greece.
Levan Tsuladze is also a leading teacher at Theatre and Cinema University.