NIRVANA

 

Characters 1 male, 1 female
First production Drama Theatre "Salza i Smyah" (Tears and Laughter), Sofia 1983
Directed by Leon Daniel

National Theatre "Ivan Vazov", Sofia, 1994, Directed by Margarita Mladenova
Vladimir Penev and Albena Georgieva

The stage action of this play, from the first exchange between the Man and the Woman, to the last fatal shots with which they put an end to their lives, takes up ninety minutes. The action, filled with unexpected twists, yet unbroken by retrospections, reveals the relationship between two highly complex and passionate characters. He is a talented poet involved with the national and social struggles in Macedonia at the beginning of the twentieth century (problems which are topical once again, at the beginning of the twenty-first century); she is an emancipated young woman, the daughter of a former Prime Minister. It is not necessary for the audience to be familiar with the facts of Balkan history: they serve only as the background against which a contemporary playwright examines, from the point of view of the present, the eternal question of the relationship between Man and Woman. Moments of love alternate with moments of hate, attraction - with estrangement, demands for total dedication - with the desire to retain one's personal independence. She is jealous of his past and his deep love for a seventeen-year old girl who died tragically in Paris and to whom he has dedicated a book of love poetry to enormous acclaim; and she is jealous of his present status of being idolized by the young. He compares their bedroom (where the entire action takes place, stage time coinciding with real time) to a tomb in which it is the main purpose of each not to let the other out. The double suicide at the end of the play is at once unexpected and logical. The beginnings of the sexual revolution, the challenging of the institution of marriage, the fashionable turn-of-the-century theories about the future of the relationship between the sexes are all presented from the vantage point of one who is able to look back on the ways in which they developed over the years.
The play is built upon documental materials about the relationship between the Bulgarian poet Peyo Yavorov and his wife Lora Karavelova.

  • Nirvana is translated into English, French, German, Russian and Macedonian.
  • It has been produced by 14 Bulgarian companies, Theatre 121, Moscow (1984, directed by Alexander Wilkin), Riverside Studios, London (2005, directed by Jonathan Chadwick).
  • In 1996, with the production of Bulgaria's National Theatre Ivan Vazov (directed by Margarita Mladenova), Nirvana took part in the Third Bonn Biennial New European Plays.

 

National Theatre "Ivan Vazov", Sofia, 1994, Directed by Margarita Mladenova
Vladimir Penev and Albena Georgieva

From the concrete events the production elevates itself to the boundless dimensions of the universal.

Nely Markova, "Duma" newspaper, 12. 06. 1995 (a review for the production of "Nirvana" at the National Theatre "Ivan Vazov", directed by Margarita Mladenova)

 

Drama Theatre "Salza i Smyah", Sofia, 1983 / Directed by Leon Daniel
Tsvetana Maneva and Marin Yanev

The National Theatre Sofia production abounding with tension, makes us believe that this drama of self dismemberment of a marital couple of the times before WWI, the correlation art-life is reflected in the fate of contemporary Bulgaria.

Wolfgang Ruf, "Wo sind die Autoren?, Die deutsche Buehne, Cologne, 8/96 (a review of the production of "Nirvana" at the Bonn Biennial "New European Plays"1996)

 

Riverside Studios, London, 2005 / Directed by Jonathan Chadwick
Michael Muller and Dolya Gavansky

These intense performances grip the imagination and charm the eye.
A welcome opportunity to discover a major European contemporary dramatist

John Thaxter, "Nirvana", "What is on, London", 08. 03. 2005 (a review of the production about the production at Riverside Studios)

Drama and Puppet Theatre Konstantin Velichkov, Pasardjik, 2009,
Directed by Ivan Dobchev
Irmena Chichikova and Christo Bonin

Drama and Puppet Theatre Konstantin Velichkov, Pasardjik, 2009,
Directed by Ivan Dobchev
Irmena Chichikova and Christo Bonin
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