The official programme of Varna Summer International Theatre Festival has come to an end

The festival continues on the internet with online streaming of selected international theatre performances and a special guest appearance on 23 July of the musical theatre production “Infernal Comedy” starring John Malkovich.

On 10th  June, the electrifying flamenco show Luxuria by Flamenco Ballet Barcelona marked the finale of the official programme of the 31st Varna Summer International Theatre Festival. In Hall 1 of the Festival Congress Centre, the musicians from the Spanish company included the organ instrument in their performance, mixing traditional flamenco with various musical and dance styles. The audience sent this year’s edition, which featured more than 30 events – performances, concerts, an international conference, workshops, and professional meetings – with a standing ovation. We would like to thank to  our audiences and partners for being with us again this year!

On the festival’s blog you can read reviews of its events from Bulgarian and international guests, as well as interviews with actors and directors who participated in performances from its programme.

"Ubu Roi"

“Ubu Roi”

However, the festival continues with a digital programme with free access on its website at You can still see the landmark performance UBU ROI by the UK theatre tandem Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod. They staged Alfred Jarry’s celebrated play in 2015 in France and the show achieved wide acclaim, playing at leading theatre forums and venues in Europe and the US. It offers an unusual reading of the play, in which the author parodies the seriousness of Shakespeare’s great tragedies and their power-obsessed heroes such as Macbeth and King Lear. “Jarry said Ubu Roi was about his old schoolmaster, whom he hated, and whom he and other pupils would call Ubu and poke fun at… But the more we worked in the rehearsal room, the more a dysfunctional family unit emerged in front of us: Mère Ubu, Père Ubu and their son, Jarry himself aka “Bougrelas”. Our production of Ubu Roi largely followed the subjective journey of that teenager, and leapt between two worlds of an apparently pristine bourgeois apartment into the carnage of the world of Ubu,” says the director. A recording of the performance with Bulgarian and English translation is available from 17th June, 7:00 p.m., till 20th June, 7:00 p.m. at, shortly after the World Theatre in Sofia’s guest appearance of Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod’s latest production, Life is a Dream, staged at the Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico in Madrid. We look forward to watching it on 15th June at 7:00 pm on the stage of the National Theatre in Sofia.



The digital programme continues with two productions by Budapest’s Madacz Theatre, which during the covid pandemic specialised in creating filmed performances for online streaming. All of them are dedicated to the lives of internationally renowned Hungarian personalities from the world of literature. Thus, on 20th June at 7 p.m., the streaming of the show The Smell of Humans, a dramatized adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ernő Szép. And from 19:00 on 21 June, you can also watch the play Tercett – The Women of Zsigmond Móricz, based on András Forgách play about the legendary and tragic story of the Hungarian writer Zsigmond Móricz, (1879-1942) and the women he loved. The streaming of the shows is available for 72 hours online and it’s carried out in partnership with the Hungarian Cultural Institute in Sofia.

"Infernal Comedy"

“Infernal Comedy”

On 23th July at 7:30 p.m. in Hall 1 of the Festival Congress Center, we look forward to seeing you for the performance “Infernal Comedy – Confessions of a Serial Killer” written and directed by Michael Sturminger, the founder of the Wiener Akademie classical music orchestra. The famous actor John Malkovich will be joined on stage by the celebrated sopranos Chen Reiss and Susanne Langbein;  conductor of the orchestra will be Martin Haselböck. The show is based on the documentary story of serial killer of women Jack Unterweger and probes deep into the contradictions of human nature. The event is part of the Intermezzo program in collaboration with the Varna Summer International Music Festival and is supported by the Ministry of Culture and the US Embassy in Bulgaria.

The Varna Summer International Theatre Festival 2023 is organized 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 and the First Investment Bank. Partners of the festival are Art Office Foundation and Homo Ludens Foundation. The festival is hosted by TMPC – Varna / Stoyan Bachvarov Theatre, State Puppet Theatre – Varna, Festival and Congress Centre – Varna, Boris Georgiev City Art Gallery, Rebunkers Cultural Centre and the Archaeological Museum.

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