Twenty-nine productions will be shown live, on-screen and online between June 1 and 15 in the city of Varna

The Varna Summer International Theatre Festival has announced this year’s programme. Thirteen performances have been selected in the Bulgarian selection, which traditionally highlights stage works on the national scene that demonstrate creativity, talent and position. Some of them have won already recognition and have been awarded with the national theatre prize “Icarus” given by  the Union of the Bulgarian Actors such as The Hague by Sasha Denisova directed by Galin Stoev (Ivan Vazov National Theatre), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time based on the world bestseller by Mark Haddon directed by Boyan Ivanov (Drama Theatre – Ruse), Happy Days by Beckett directed by Margarita Mladenova (Sfumato Theatre Laboratory ). Others are this year’s premieres such as Tribe by Nina Raine directed by young director Zafir Rajeb (Bulgarian Army Theatre), The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute directed by Maxima Boeva (Varna Drama Theatre) and Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet directed by Staiko Murdjev (Plovdiv Drama Theatre) a.o. The selection also marks the wave of solo performances with talented actors such as Vesela Babinova in Natural Shocks, Elena Telbis in Prima Facie, Marius Kurkinsky in Local, Boyan Arsov in Lucifer and Hristo Mutafchiev starring in My God. They stand in front of the audience with a sincere and moving monological confession of their characters, demonstrating their versatile talent. The festival opens with the Bulgarian modern classics Easter Wine with the remarkable Vladimir Penev in the title role directed by Javor Gardev.

Both the Bulgarian and the international programme are dominated by contemporary theatre plays that want to capture the pulse of today. This is also the case of the original performance by the young Hungarian actor, author and director László Gyondýor Living the Dream with Grandma. In it, he presents a touching story about the time he spent in isolation with his 97-year-old grandmother during the Covid pandemic. The audience will be able to see the electrifying new Spanish flamenco show Faro by Eduardo Guerrero, whom we remember with “Desplante” presented in 2017. The highlight of the programme is the multimedia show Chaplin Pianissimo about the life and work of Charlie Chaplin with the special appearance by his son Eugene Chaplin. The concert is presented as part of the Intermezzo programme in collaboration with the Varna Summer International Music Festival.

Alongside live performances, the festival continues to present screenings from the NT Live – the best of British theatre on the cinema screen programme. This time the choice has fallen on one of the most buzzed-about shows on the British stage – Vanya, an adaptation of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” with the remarkable actor Andrew Scott, who demonstrates true mastery in his portrayals of all seven roles from the play. And online, with free access, you will be able to watch on the territory of Bulgaria the The Double Inconstancy, which Galin Stoev staged in Toulouse and received a nomination for the French Theatre Critics Award, as well as the landmark performance Seagull by the highly acclaimed Lithuanian director Oskaras Koršunovas.

The programme will be followed by international festival programmers, theatre critics and professionals specially invited for the Bulgarian Showcase, and the squares of Varna will be coloured by an artistic presence.

And this is only part of the programme of the largest international theatre event in Bulgaria.

Tickets for the festival events can now be purchased at the Varna Festival and Congress Centre box office and online at, and for “Chaplin Pianissimo” from And after 3th May – also at the box offices of Drama Theatre – Varna.

Learn more about the entire festival programme on

The Varna Summer International Theatre Festival 2024 is organised by the Via Fest Foundation with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Municipality of Varna through the Culture Fund, the National Culture Fund, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bulgaria and the Hungarian Cultural Institute. The partners of the festival are the Bulgarian Theatre Association, Art Office, Antrakt Association, Homo Ludens Foundation. The festival is hosted by Theatre and Music Production Centre Varna, State Puppet Theatre Varna, Festival and Congress Centre Varna, Boris Georgiev City Art Gallery, Retro Club and Rebunkers Cultural Centre.





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