by Gabriel García Márquez –– Directed by: Yuri Kordonsky
The show tells the story of Eréndira, who was barelly 14 years old when her grandmother, accusing her of burning the house down, forces her into prostitution. While there are hundreds of men before Eréndira’s tent, the grandmother negotiates the price and counts the money. All the while, Ulyses, young and beautiful as an angel, desires her. After the attempts at running away of the two lovebirds fail, they plan a murder. „The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother” is considered one of the most emotional stories by Gabriel García Márquez. Some of his motives from „ A century of solitude” are woven here with themes such as guilt and redemption, love and death. A laureate of the Nobel Prize for Literature, an exceptional director that also signs the staging of the text, as well as a consecrated ensemble approach this magical world where reality and imagination intertwine.
Recreating an entire universe of magical realism on stage is a real challenge. And I was delighted when I realised that the Yuri Kordonsky - Helmut Stürmer tandem didn't sacrifice story for the sake of stage effects. On the contrary, the lax visuals (moving scenographic elements, the sand from which texts, subtexts and/or images are created that become natural complements to the scenic movement) combined with a sound background deeply rooted in the affective memory of any spectator (songs whose rhythm is impossible to ignore), to which we add the colours of the costumes, all come out on stage to tell Eréndira's story. And let's not forget the carefully coordinated stage movement offstage - you don't see actors running around chaotically, but characters who know their place in the story very well and who come out on stage just because they have something to say. Characters who come from the audience, because, after all, the story belongs to us in the audience from the moment Eréndira's grandmother's house is burnt down; from that moment on, everything is in plain sight, and we in the audience become silent witnesses to an endless drama. If at the beginning Eréndira was small, implausibly small in relation to the stage, you see her grow with the other partners, so that at the end the ratio becomes reversed: the actors are the big ones, the set objects are small, until their total disappearance from the stage (at the final moment there is only the angel's cage and that thrown into a corner and a red basin). Kordonsky has thought well about this combination of stage effects obtained from the play of lights, because, in the end, when Eréndira's drama becomes a second play, you wonder if people can become the masters of time (yes, it is very true that time heals any wound, but it seems that when you have to deal with dozens/hundreds of wounds you are not sure if this time is really healing). That's why the past becomes more and more distant, with the disappearance of the clocks from the scene, almost suspending any connection with that past, that time when everything was under the sign of purity and immaculateness, and the present is under the sign of magic - the circus and its world - because it is still too close to us to be sure that what we live/feel/see is true and, more importantly, belongs to us, so we can (still) change it to our liking.
The imaginary, subtly poetic: Eréndira is visited by a man (Harald Weisz and his voice...) who speaks of "blue dog eyes". Code for their fantasy world. Which exists until the brutality of dawn, a knife blade crashing on a marble floor, interrupts it. To return in other nights. Olga Török carries the whole show. In an interview for yorick.ro, the actress says: "[...] for an hour I am not fit for heavy conversations... I can't pay attention to almost anything. It's very hard to get out of Eréndira."
Kordonsky and his almost unique way of highlighting actresses. Echoes of Bury Me Behind the Plinth, to give just one example.
Kordonsky and, in this show, his almost Purcachean way of constructing scenes of overwhelming visuality. The boldness of his imagination, the overwhelming force of the binomial Helmut Stürmer & Ioana Popescu, the discreet, fair touches of Tibor Cári's music and Botond Nosz's lights.
A certain, pleonastic exaggeration of the duration of the prostitution scene. A slowdown after the first hour of the two-hour show. Slight imperfections in the coherence of the narrative.
Măreţia abjecţiei umane, foamea de extreme (minunată crunta secvenţă a defilării bizareriilor circului, powered by Franz Kattesch) a omului doritor să vadă mai-răul la care poate ajunge seamănul său, perpetua nevoie de a umili ceea ce se deosebeşte prin alb (Eréndira) şi aripi (bătrânul lui Rareş Hontzu) de cenuşiul şi noroiul mormintelor spre care alegem să zburăm.