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Bertolt Brecht

The Caucasian Chalk Circle 14

The Caucasian Chalk Circle

Hungary • National Theatre, Budapest

Director: Avtandil Varsimashvili

Performed in Hungarian. On MITEM with English subtitles

3 hours 15 minutes with 1 breaks.

'Things should belong to those 
who do well by them,
Children to motherly women 
that they may thrive...'

The Caucasian Chalk Circle is one of Bertolt Brecht’s best-known plays, it was premiered in 1954 in Berlin. It is where Brecht’s concept of “epic theatre”, a fundamental feature of his dramaturgy, is most clearly demonstrated. The play is inspired by an ancient Chinese legend and King Solomon's parable in the Bible, in both of which women are subjected to what seems a cruel ritual motherhood test.

Brecht sets the plot in civil-war-torn Georgia, where the country’s governor, Georgi Abasvili, is assassinated in a coup staged by the Prince, while the city is set ablaze. Natella, the governor’s fleeing wife abandons her young son, who is taken in by the kind-hearted maid Grusha Vachnadze. From then on, she raises him as her own child, taking on all kinds of hardship and even breaking her beau Simon Chachava’s heart. However, the governor’s wife returns after the war to reclaim her biological child. The solution to this seemingly unsolvable dilemma is left to Azdak, the judge of the community, who tries to adjudicate in the dispute between the two women using an ancient test known as the “Caucasian chalk circle”.

Is tender love stronger than blood ties? Can justice be done between two kinds of maternal hearts? Brecht's popular play seeks answers to these painful moral questions.

“Any war, any loss can only be repaired by kindness”, says production director Avtandil Varsimashvili.

The Hungarian text was written by András Kozma using the translation of Ágnes Nagy Nemes and Gábor Garai

Gruse Vacsnadze, kichen maid

Kinga Katona

Simon Csacsava, a soldier of the palace guard

Roland Bordás

Azdak, the village clerk

Zsolt Trill

Georgi Abasvili, Governor

Sándor Berettyán

Natella, the governor's wife

Júlia Szász

Ágnes Barta

Bizergan Kazbeki / Gigi, a lawyer / Ill

Dénes Farkas

Lavrenti, Gruse's brother / Old milkman / Old peasant / Innkeeper

József Szarvas

Salva, policeman

Attila Kristán

Gruse's "mother-in-law" / Old wife

Nelli Szűcs

Josif, Gruse's "husband" / Gogi, the governor's adjutant/ Doctor / Soldier / Refugee / Young peasant

Péter Herczegh

Rich Peasant / Duke / Old Husband

József Varga

Arszen Kazbeki / Guard leader / Refugee

Domán Szép

Woodhead, common soldier / Soldier / Horseman

József Kovács S.

Aniko, Lavrenti's wife / Nanny / Cook / Peasant woman / Mama Georgia

Ágota Szilágyi

Zsuzsuna / Young girl / Peasant woman / Clerk

Hanga Martos

Soldier / Young Peasant

István Madácsi

Set and costume designer

Avtandil Varsimashvili

Assistant costume designer

Ranáta Gyöngyösi

Gia Kancseli

and Georgian folk music


András Kozma


Anikó Sütő

Stage manager

Gábor Dobos

István Géczy

Krisztián Ködmen

Assistant director

Péter Kernács


Avtandil Varsimashvili

Gobbi Hilda Stage
Avtandil Varsimashvili

Avtandil Varsimashvili

Famous Georgian director Avtandil Varsimashvili is one of the famous directors in Georgia. He is Artistic Director of the state academic Griboedov Theater and “Liberty Theatre”. He has been awarded with Georgian State National Award, State Higher Theatrical Award of Kote Marjanishvili, Award named after Mikheil Tumanishvili, winner of the Grand Prix “Zolotoi Vityaz” festival, and has many other international theatrical festival awards. Has received “Order of Honor of Georgia”.

He is the Full Professor of “The Tbilisi Theatre and Cinema University” and delivers master classes for directors and Georgia and in other countries. He has staged over 100 plays, one film, 7 TV films and 14 documentaries. Beside Georgia he worked in Italy, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Finland, Estonia and Hungary.

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