This is the second performance in the programme “To Damascus” of Theatre Laboratory “Sfumato” dedicated to the oeuvre of the Swedish author August Strindberg. Director Margarita Mladenova finds the common line between “Julie, Jean and Kristin” and “The Dance of Death” in the “unromantic, shameless-cruel look on man between Eros and Tanatos”.
In this staging she synthesizes and focuses Strindberg’s play on intensifying of the relationship between the three main characters and presents it as an absurdist farce. Edgar and Alice create their own hell where love is dragged down to hate. In the invented game between life and death they involve their friend Kurt. Edgar, Alice and Kurt seem to be the last human beings on the earth, living in their own inner death.
This stylized and expressive performance visually reminds of the famous painting “The Scream” by Edvard Munch and resonates like a tragicomic horror theatre: landscapes of hell inside personality.
“Froken Julie”: dragging down into the erotic as vile and humiliating. Death as a way out. But still there is: “Tell me that you love me!”. Years later “The Dance of Death”.
– Are you able to love the ugly face of the fellow-man? (Dostoevsky)
– No, it is beyond my strengths. (Strindberg)
Love is dragged down to Hate. Hate as passion, as form of life, as destructive element. Death does not come, because it has come long ago, it is here long ago. Live death. It is dancing with us. We are dancing with it… The big civilizational project of Man with a capital M fails in man.