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Based on the novel of Horace McCoy

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? 16

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

Tbilisi Theatrical Centre” “Liberty Theatre”, Tbilisi, Georgia

Director: Avtandil Varsimashvili

Performed in Georgian with Hungarian and English subtitles

2 hours 30 minutes with 1 breaks.

A dance marathon is announced, the last couple standing wins. This marathon is covered by TV channels. The fight is merciless. At this marathon, not only the exhausted body of the participants can be seen, but also their mutilated souls too. Marathon - as the face of our present life. A marathon that shakes us all and destroys us.


Selection of reviews 

Neron Abuladze about “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”

Before us is an independent, thorough Georgian dramaturgical basis and devastating reality.

Avtandil Varsimashvili, the author of both the play and the theatrical interpretation, once again makes us think bitterly about our modernity, our daily life, this time openly, without any "direct or indirect addition".

Modern television space. Well-advertised show and the main interest of the participants, which means 100,000 GEL in case of winning. A collective view of a complexly differentiated society given in four participant pairs. Smart, flexible dialogue, sequential and synchronous alternation of mise-en-scenes, compositional arrangement and artistic structure are logically combined. The stories narrated during the two acts are so real, true and felt, that the line between the audience and the stage disappears altogether.

On the stage, the doors of the four spaces or symbolic stables of the TV studio are opening, and in accordance with the plot sequence, a specific couple tells their story.

Individual characters are formed into group portraits. The emotional intensity increases, the tension reaches its peak, the "fallen" participants are slowly leaving the competition and the show is approaching the finale. The knot is untied and the heavy social existence comes to the fore with all its severity, to the viewer

Each phrase is intended to be bare, direct and ruthless.

The director does not leave us a little optimism even in the finale scene... one of the heroines endures to the end, she doesn't fall, on the contrary - like a poor horse drags his fallen husband with a saddle.

The performance is over, the thoughtful audience leaves the hall. The goal has been achieved. The director completely shook each of them and made them lose their rest.

Here I conclude by sharing the first impression - which I can tentatively call - a sketch for the review...


12 April 2024, Friday, 7 PM, Gobbi Hilda Stage

Actors and cast: 

Jaba Kiladze, 
Salome Chulukhadze 
Mamuka Mumladze
Sophio Lomjaria
Leri Gurgenidze
Keta Lortkipanidze
Giorgi Jikia
Mariam Nadiradze 
Kakha Mikiashvili 
Tinatin Kordadze

Stage designer: Shota Bagalishvili
Costume designer: Teo Kukhianidze
Choreographer: Mariam Aleksidze
Composer: Koka Tskitishvili
Dramaturge: Avtandil Varsimashvili


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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