A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Vazov National Theatre of Bulgaria, Sofia
premiere 4 October 1995, Main stage
Costumes and masks
Velko Kanev, Kasiel Noa Asher, Georgi Mamalev, Krastyo Lafazanov, Petar Popyordanov, Andrey Batashov, Svetlana Yancheva, Renny Vrangova / Margarita Hlebarova, Stoyan Pepelanov, Hristo Mutafchiev, Teodor Elmazov, Plamen Peev, Krasimir Nedev, Marian Bozukov, Petya Toncheva, Ivo Leonkov, Elena Pap, Jean Iliev, Plamen Pap, Alexander Iliev, Evelina Popova, Ilian Penev
A feature peculiar to Shakespeare is the suddenness of love. There is mutual fascination and infatuation from the very first glance, the first touch of hands. Love falls down like a hawk; the world has ceased to exist; the lovers only see each other. Love in Shakespeare fills the entire being with rapture and desire. All that is left in the Dream of these amorous passions is the suddenness of desire... Commentators have long noticed that the lovers in this quartet are hardly distinguishable from one another. The girls differ only in height and the colour of their hair... The boys differ only in names. All four lack the distinctness and uniqueness of so many other, even earlier, Shakespearian characters. The lovers are exchangeable...The entire action of this hot night, everything that has happened at this drunken party, is based on the complete exchangebility of love partners.
~ Jan Kott, "Titania and the Ass’s Head"
Two young men - Lysander and Demetrius, compete for the hand of one of the most beautiful girls in Athens, Hermia. Hermia is in love with Lysander but her father forbids such a marriage and the two lovers decide to elope from Athens in order to get married. Helena, who is in love with Demetrius, lets him know of the planned elopement. He rushes after them, while Helena rushes after Demetrius. In the somber forest magical and fairy metamorphoses occur: the forest spirit Puck casts a spell on Queen Titania and she falls in love with an ass; he confuses the lovers and makes them chaotically jump from one object of adoration to another. Meanwhile, a group of Athenian craftsmen are rehearsing a play in the forest to celebrate the marriage between Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. The rehearsals keep being interrupted by the lovers in pursuit of each other. But there is no suffering in the kingdom of the elves, and the mischievous Puck transforms all that happened into a mere dream.