Pavel Prazhko: Panties
Nina, the main character, is a lonely woman buying new panties all the time, washing them and drying them — and someone keeps steeling them from her clothesline. She announces this to the police. It turns out that Nina is a victim of the local women’s hatred who dispise her and deliberately hurt her because they can’t understand her way of life. The whole conflict culminates with violence against Nina who is to be burnt as a witch. The story also contains a second line that reveals secrets from the past, old and living injustices and crimes.
Prazhko’s texts are often recognized for his radical language, openness to controversial topics and hyperrealism. The play Panties is a typical example of Prazhko’s work, as it deals with stupidity, superficiality and emptines of the contemporary man.
Ihar Sidaruk: The Head
The play is seen as one of the best Belarusian absurdist dramas. The main “character” that pushes the action forward is a head made of paper, rubber and iron, which generates and influences actions of the others (refugee, seeker, etc.). The Head is the centre of the universe. The Head is eternal.
Sidaruk uses specific linguistic features and humour to create an anti-utopia that reflects contemporary society.
Ales Astashonak: Dramatic texts
A series of short, experimental texts partially structured as dialogues. These “non-dialogical” text nevertheless contain dialogue, and thus theatricality. The author follows in the tradition of the theatre of the absurd (Beckett, Ionesco). His text includes references to and quotes from the Western literature (Shakespeare, Plato, Faulkner, The Beatles).
The series contains six unconnected parts: Theatre Rehearsal; At Night, When There I Light; Two; Sacrifice; A Small Anti-Utopia; Compassion; Substance.
Siarhiej Kavalou: The Return of the Hungry Artist
The play is dedicated to Tadeusz Ruzevich and all hungry artists of the world.
The play subtitled “a phantasmagoria in two acts” is based on the short story “A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka. It also performs a dialogue with the drama The Departure of the Hungry Artist by Tadeusz Ruzevich. The story is set in a provincial town, where a new ZOO is about to be opened. During preparations, an unknown man appears in one of the cages. The ZOO director recognizes an old artist that used to work with her parents. The artist’s return produces several reactions — the town mayor sees him as a threat to the community; the local reporter tries to use his return for her own goals. At the end, the occupant of the cage changes — the artist gives his spot to the local teacher. The place of the hungry artist never remains empty in our society.
Nikolaj Chalezin: On the Substance of Love
A play based on a true story: She (Iryna Krasouská) adn He (Anatol Krasouski) tell a tragic story of their love and life together, which ends when Anatol, who is a businessman supporting democratic polititians, kidnapped by the “death squad”, the special commando of the Belarusian state police.
The drama premiered in the Belarusian Free Theatre in 2008, and has been performed with success in 15 countries around the world. It became a radio play in Sweden. The author is an active campaigner for human rights. He had to escape from Belarus after the last election and now lives in London. He is the artistic director of the Free Theatre supported by many theatre personalities, such as sir Tom Stoppard, who granted his auspice to this Festival.
Uladzimir Saulich: The Dog with the Golden Tooth
A farce begins when the despotic wife Kozlikava requests a noble dog from her husband. Major Kozlikav’s employee carries out the order to get one. It is found out that the dog is missing a tooth. Kozlikav decides to give it an implant — a goldet tooth. The wife says that there is not enough room for such a dog in their house and that it is necessary to accommodate it in the room of Kozlikav’s mother-in-law who is to be sent to a retirement home. However, the home cannot accept her without a certificate of a loss of breadwinner — which is a certificate of Kozlikav’s death. When the Major obtains an illegal certificate, the moving may begin. At this moment, grandfather Jazep arrives with a sad news that the dog with a golden tooth became lost…