German theatre critics praised the Ukrainian play and the staging “Hohe Auflösung”

15.07.2014

критики в восхищенииThe performance of the Baden State Theatre “Hohe Auflösung” (“High Resolution”), based on a play written by one of the founders of “Theatre na Zhukah” Dmytro Ternovyi, was praised by critics in Germany.

Last week, the main German-speaking theatre web portal Nachtkritik.de, which illuminates the theatrical life in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, included this staging to the Top-10 performances that are recommended to view.

The most popular and influential theatre magazine in Germany “Theater heute” (“Theatre Today”) is planning to publish the play “Detalization”, on which the performance is based, in its August issue. The review on the staging, the interview with Dmytro Ternovyi and the director of “Theatre na Zhukah” Olga Ternova will be published in it as well.

The reviews on the play were published in a number of specialized, social and political media in Germany. The excerpts from some publications are below.

Die Deutsche Bühne (one of the leading Germany’s theatre journals):

The playwright Dmitro Ternovyi plunges the viewer into the world of conflicting emotions, where laughter gives way to anger…

This is a complex play. In this text the almost documentary density is connected with a comic story, so it cuts straight to the heart…

The director successfully keeps up with this breathtaking pace. She has masterfully created the performance with the tragic final preceded by the chaotic action, harmoniously combining the first and the last scenes…

Her honest way of dealing with the text, that won the competition “Talking about borders” in 2012, has turned the staging into a real political theatre. The masterpiece of the director is based on the virtuoso play with the scenes. The play was translated by Lydia Nagel using very lively and clear language…

Mina Salefur is working on the fine line between grotesque, the tabloid comedy and tragedy… and she is doing it in a magical and easy way…

Grandiose job of the entire ensemble, and more than a promising director Mina Salefur shows how, through the cultural and artistic boundaries are being overcome by theatre…

Nachtkritik.de (independent theatre portal in Germany, Austria and Switzerland)

In 2013 D. Ternovyi received the most significant dramatic Eastern European prize “Talking about borders…” This is not a purely documentary play, but it is full of historical motifs and riddled with political intuition… This is a very bold mixture of tabloid and political theatre, pop and surreal play forms, while it’s still a “well-made-play” … Not only people, but also objects are speaking in it…

The text of the play is interesting by itself, but it’s a tricky for staging… Mina Salefur managed to convey both comedic and serious nature of the play, having found the right tone to tell the story of a young couple who lives in an apartment over the revolutionary Maidan …

Protagonists tend not to interfere in the tumultuous events around them, but of course, they do not succeed in doing it…

Five actors play 21 characters, some of which are objects, and all events are unfolding in the room where the walls are built of sandbags …

The director manages to create the brilliant final of the play. In the text the violinist comes to perform on the Maidan, but in the play stone, that has been thrown in the first scene, hits Elena at the moment when she begins to interfere events…

Deutschlandradio (National Radio Company of Germany):

The play is about how do people act during the revolution. The main action takes place in an apartment above the Maidan, and a young married couple is in the spotlight. He is a violinist who’s trying to get a Schengen visa for touring abroad. She has isolated herself from the outside world: the TV does not work, window facing the Maidan is behind the curtains, she just wants to wait until these events end. Then the tabloid political comedy starts: there is an illegal migrant, chased by the police. There is also a curious neighbor and a policeman. People are being interwoven, so the story arises. On one hand it is comic, but at the same time it represents the insightful look at serious political events. Moreover, there is a surreal world, for example, the world of tableware in bourgeois apartment with sitcoms playing on TV. In the scene about getting a Schengen visa the folders, printings and guns are talking to each other …

The director managed to combine all these elements into a whole piece. Mina Salefur finds ingenious solution of the scene where paveblocks are lying on the Maidan, leading the conversation. In the original, this part appears closer to the finale, but the director puts it at the beginning of the play. There is a young stone, who doesn’t want to be trampled on, it dreams of flying. And he really takes off, and then there is the last scene when the main character is looking out the window. The stone breaks into it and there is a beautiful and terrible at the same time illustration of what happens during a revolution. What is the release for some, for others becomes death …

Especially interesting is the fact that the play was written in 2012, and even then the author wrote about the events on the Maidan, the snipers on the roofs, so it is not just a political farce, but the really perspicacious analysis…

Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany’s largest daily newspaper):

This is the crazy complex theatre text, in which the scenes are solved in different styles and cannot be reduced to the same level. However, one look prevailed in the play by Mina Salefur – the actors are playing in the spirit of comedy.

Schwäbische Zeitung (one of the main regional newspapers)

This is one of the most interesting premieres of the season. The Ukrainian author Dmitro Ternovyi had written a play about the situation in his country before similar events actually happened… He finished “High resolution” in 2012, at a time when it was impossible to even imagine that in February 2014 Maidan will happen and Yanukovych will be overthrown. Playwright wrote the text combining different genres: it’s the gutter comedy a la Feydeau, and suddenly – a documentary theatre, and surreal scene in the spirit of Alfred Jarry …

Badische Neueste Nachrichten (regional political newspaper):

When it is impossible to find the right tone for a horror picture of the situation, the language of comedy saves the situation. Dancing gun, talking printings (phenomenal costumes by Mary Anderski)… The Children’s Choir of teenagers who want to get individual Schengen visas for the joint tour, the meaningless interview with Olga Ivanovna, a soft drink manufacturer, – all these are parts of the great farce staged with stunning performance of the actors.

In the end, visas are obtained, but Andrei doesn’t want to go anywhere. The fifth stone from the first scene comes, bringing death. Just exclaimed: “What a wonderful life!” is immediately replaced by the phrase “What a horrible death!” Then – thunderous applause.

(Sincere thanks to Rybalkina Marina for her help with the translation from German)

The play “Detalization”, which in German translation of Lydia Nagel received the title “Hohe Auflösung” (“High Resolution”), was written in 2012. It won the main dramaturgical competition in Eastern Europe “Talking about borders. Living in an era of change.” In Austria, the text is published as a pamphlet with the circulation of 11 thousand copies. On June 9 the “Hohe Auflösun” was premiered at the Baden State Theatre in Karlsruhe, becoming part of its repertoire.

The idea of the contest “Talking about the borders” for the states of Eastern Europe was proposed by Austrian director Christian Papke in 2004. Each year the competition is held in the new country. It is organized by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, with the support of several non-governmental agencies in Austria and the participating countries. In Ukraine, the competition was held in 2012 with the support of the Austrian Cultural Forum.

Dmytro Ternovyi first tried his hand at drama writing as a student (he graduated philological faculty of Kharkiv National University named after V.N. Karazin). For many years he worked as a journalist, collaborating with leading national media in Ukraine.

In 2006 together with his wife, a poet and a director, Olga Ternova he created “Theatre na Zhukah”. He’s been also a producer and an actor there. In 2010 he returned to drama writing and recently wrote a number of plays and skits, some of which are included to the repertoire of “Theatre na Zhukah”.