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Franz Kafka

THE HUNGER ARTIST

THE HUNGER ARTIST

Meno Fortas Theatre, Vilnius, Lithuania

Director: Eimuntas Nekrošius

Performed in Lithuanian, with Hungarian and English subtitles

1 hours 30 minutes.

The Lithuanian Meno Fortas Theatre, the name of which means “a fortress of art,” was founded in 1998 by several people, but among the most prominent was perhaps Eimuntas Nekrošius. Nekrošius’s innovative productions of classic plays such as Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, The Seagull, as well as texts like The Song of Songs and Dante’s Divine Comedy, have brought international fame to the director and the theatre alike. Their latest production is based on Franz Kafka’s last short story, “The Hunger Artist.” Nekrošius’s theatrical vision of Kafka’s much-analysed philosophical work would probably surprise even the most erudite literary scholar, and not only because instead of a man sitting in a cage the protagonist is a woman who walks free. The interpretation of the four performers is so powerful and captivating that often the audience has no time or prompting to search for philosophical depth. Dinner is served. Would anyone like a bite? Suddenly we find ourselves listening to the hunger artist singing a popular song from our childhood or trying to give us a short lecture on digestion. The most striking aspect is that all this looks and sounds like an organic totality. Like the ascetic minimalism that is in such perfect harmony with Kafka.

Casts:

Viktorija Kuodytė
Vygandas Vadeiša
Vaidas Vilius
Genadij Virkovskij

 

Assistant director: Tauras Čižas
Sound: Arvydas Dūkšta
Lights: Audrius Jankauskas
Property-man: Genadij Virkovskij
Stage design: Marius Nekrosius
​Costume design: Nadezda Gultiajeva

Director

Eimuntas Nekrošius

MS
Main Stage
Eimuntas Nekrošius

Eimuntas Nekrošius

Eimuntas Nekrošius is one of the most significant contemporary Lithuanian directors and also the founder and artistic director of the Meno Fortas theatre company. He was born in 1952 in a small Lithuanian village. As a child, he lived on a farmstead with his family. At 18 years of age, he was admitted to the Vilnius State Conservatory. One year after having completed his studies, he was admitted to the Lunacharsky Institute of Theatre Arts (today the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts), where he studied directing under Andrei Goncharov. His first position as a director was with the Kaunas Drama Theatre, and he later worked at the Vilnius State Youth Theatre. Gradually, he developed a distinctive and highly metaphorical approach to the language of the theatre, which was later to become the hallmark of some of his most important productions based on the works of Chekhov and Shakespeare. One year after his 1997 production of Hamlet, which was arguably epoch-making, he founded the Meno Fortas (Fortress of Art) company, which became a member of the Union of the Theatres of Europe. Nekrošius has been won numerous awards for his work. His play Othello won the Golden Mask Award in the category of Best Foreign Production, and he was the recipient the Stanislavsky Award for his work as a director. Beginning in 2002, he directed several operas in cities such Florence, Milan (in La Scala), Moscow (in the Bolshoi Theatre), and the Lithuanian National Opera House. His most important distinctions include the State Prize of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Lithuania (1983), the State Prize of the Soviet Union (1987), the State Prize of the Russian Federation (1999), and the Europe Prize for New Theatrical Realities (1991). In 1992, he was named the best European director of the Union of the Theatres of Europe. He died in november 2018. Sons Of The Bitch is his latest performance.

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