It seems that not only the underfunding and the threat of new taxes makes life miserable for Thalia’s servants in the city of Thames. Towards the end of May the actors from renowned theatres are ready to launch a campaign for „better and healthier” working conditions, reports The Stage, a specialized publication.
Last week the annual Equity conference took place at Blackpool where the representatives of the theatre world decided the creation of a work group to investigate the those West End theatres whose actors complain about… the rats from the backstages and the sewerage systems. These complains come together with claims regarding unsuitable or not enough cabins compared to the numbers of actors and also the insufficient toilets and the lack of extremely necessary facilities.
In „La Cage aux Folles” from the famous Playhouse Theatre, there is only one cabin which the entire cast of the show must use, informed Tim Walton during the conference, Equity representative, reminding the audience that those charming London theatres who have kept, their initial arhitecture and structure almost entirely, fight with rats and of course with the unnatural consequences of their presence (some of them visible in the make up kits).Another real problem that West End theatres’ artists must face is the poor condition of the toilets and ,to top it all, that of the air conditioning, which is sublime but…
According to the quoted source, the goal of this initiative is to persuade the management of some historical theatres in London to improve the working conditions for their employees.
But the real difficulty derives, as the owners and administrators from theatres such as Playhouse and Shaftesbury continuously say, from the very structure of those old buildings which are without doubt charming, but crowded, without possibilities to improve the conditions neither for the spectators, nor for the actors or the artistic personnel. And at present the only proof that people are looking for a solution is the allocation of funds from specialized organisations for the modernization of the famous buildings from the centre of London as well as and the rounds of negociations transacted with the owners of these organisations. (D.I.)
The natzi cruelty in the spotlight
The Circulo theatre in East Village, New York has prepared for its audience „a pervert theatre chapter” as commented by the New York Times reviewer, Andy Webster, that published on 20th May a comment to the show „Way to Heaven”, realized after a play written by the spanish succesful playwriter Juan Mayorga. The show that was put on by Matthew Earnest, appreciated both in Europe and USA, two continents still incosolable after the long natzi nightmare, puts in the inexorable spotlight the irrational cruelty, that is born from the deep impenetrable human essence , the atrocity that seems unreal, taking forms which are difficult to comprehend.
The play is a history drama, a gender which, for what I have noticed, is considered obsolete on the romanian stages from Bucharest, but not in the cities Thalia’s muse has visited, as observed. A text that gravitates around the mechanism moved by one of history’s most severe illnesses, which is even today a goldmine for artists, be they writers, movie makers or playwrights.
The highly praised spanish playwriter’s play brings into the spotlight the perversity of the natzi in its most concrete form: Theresienstadt or Terezin (a town which is now located in the Czech Republic) is a Jewish locality created by the natzi to demonstrate that the regime they represent offers decent living conditions to the Israeli people. But as predicted predictible enough, the place is nothing but a concentration camp, just one more stop on the way to the gas chamber. The commander (played like the other characters by a spanish actor, Francisco Reyes), man-about-town and also scholar discovers his calling as a stage director and playwriter and he falls back on Gershom, a convict, asking him to persuade the detainees to act his characters with more enthusiasm, in case they „want to see their mother” at least „in one of those trains”. (D.I.)
Anne Frank’s life in a musical
Premiere at Dejazet theatre in Paris: „Anne the musical”. Hommage to Anne Frank, a show which is recommended by several french publications. Materialized by many theatric productions and films, the Jewish teenager that survived for years, hidden in a house in Amsterdam, before being betrayed and then deported, has now become a
music-hall hero. She is played by young Chloé Horry and tells her story facing the history, in songs composed by Jean-Pierre Hadida, who declared for Le Figaro newspaper that the rhytms played by the young actors on the parisian stage are the ones that „Anne, her family and friends would have sung”. Small fragments from the show can be watched at the following addresses:
Translated by Tone Monica Cristina, MTTLC, 1st year