Decameron, or Blood and Passion
Ivan Vazov National Theatre of Bulgaria, Sofia
premiere 13 October 2000, Main stage
Translator of fragments
Author of dramatisation
Set design and costumes
Designer of programme
Kremena Mileva, Gergana Bencheva, Boris Radilov, Ilian Penev
Maria Kavardzhikova, Ana Papadopulu, Renny Vrangova, Maria Sapundzhieva, Karla Rachal, Emanuela Shkodreva, Albena Koleva, Vesela Neinsky, Kalin Yavorov, Stefan Danailov, Petar Popyordanov, Teodor Elmazov, Dimitar Rachkov, Nikolay Mutafchiev, students from the theatre class of prof. S. Danailov - NATFA
Boccaccio's novella collection
"I want to tell you the most beautiful and the deepest of all words but I am afraid that you will not understand me."
When you reach the top of the pyramid and see the world from there you start feeling as part of eternity, part of the universe. But seeing your feet, you understand that the pyramid is not a pyramid and the stone is not a stone. You realise you are in the middle of a dump field. The world is full of corpses, dirt, tin cans, syringes and you are standing on top of a huge pile of stinking garbage... trash... decaying civilization. You rush into a feverish search for the pyramid. You immerse yourself into the garbage, you dive into the stench. You sink into it and still search. Gradually you become part of this repulsiveness. But however deep you go, you will not find anything because there is no pyramid. The pyramid is inside you.
Do you have to suffer when other people are suffering? Yes, you do! Because you will only be happy if the others are happy. This also applies to love. Love is the nightmare of the happy man.
Love is bloodthirsty. Each new love feeds on the blood of people who have earlier died because of love. And that's what eternity is.
God created the man and the woman as one whole. That's why we are in a constant search for the other half of our Being. When you find it you merge and form a whole new Being, the ultimate Being. It bears the half of another ultimate Being. When it finds its half another half will be born and thus the world goes on... And that's what eternity is. But just how much suffering and blood are shed for the mere Ultimacy.
And is there anything more important than Ultimacy? Yes, there is! The wind in the cane.
~ Alexander Morfov
I was in love with Elisa - the prima of the opera. A thunderous mezzo-soprano, her voice did miracles to men.
The man has no soul. The man is a man when he is a hero, a warrior, when he slaughters, kills, cuts throats, pulls hearts with bear hands. The man is Zeus who kills his own father to take his leading postition.
Do you know what love is? The wind dies, the morning rain dribbles in tiny pearls upon the dry leaves, revived by the sunlight. I swear in the sky's radiance, I swear in our Sun that I love you. I want to die loving you and you to die beside me.
I love you so much that I want to cut you into pieces and eat you. I want to pull your eyes out and carry them with me in my palm. Do you think we are created for each other? - Yes!
In "Decameron" love is given so many rights that, in a sense, it is turned into a demiurge of human life. According to "Decameron" concept, love is the one that creates man in stead of man creating love. Under the influence of love one becomes inventive, crafty, noble, vicious, compliant, insistent, love is the main source of diversity of human soul and human character. Love ventures in village cottages and in royal palaces and brings its life-changing mission wherever it goes.
~ Isaak Passy, "Essays"
And, indeed, as he listened to the cries of joy rising from the town, Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperiled. He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city.
~ Albert Camus, "The Plague"
AWARDS and TOURS:
International Theatre Festival "Stage at a Crossroads" 2000 - Plovdiv, Bulgaria
I-st International festival of theatres from Central and Eastern Europe "The Lost Heaven" 2002 - Utrecht and Rotterdam, Holland
Askeer Annual Theatre Award, 2001 - Supporting female role, Maria Sapundzhieva
Askeer Annual Theatre Award, 2001 - Costumes design, Elena Ivanova
"In the production you can hear the works of Musset, Rostand, Shakespeare and Lorca. There is so much poetry on the stage, so much comedy, tragedy, love, spectacularity, provocation and modernity that the audience remains breathless."
~ Ten Minutes of Applause for "Decameron" | A. Atanassova, Standart newspaper, 15.10.2000
"In certain moments the characters look as if just coming out of a Veronese painting but within only a moment the frame breaks and sets free clowns on elastic ropes. Their gestures and moves are repeated in slow motion on screens at the bottom of the stage. Also on the screens you can see lines from Chaplin films and excerpts from football games. But there is not even a single avantgarde touch that makes you feel uncomfortable during the performance. Even the dirty Boccaccio-style language seems intrinsic to it, leading the viewer to the fairy tale ending engulfed in smoke. Yes, this "Decameron" is more of a Morfov's work than Boccaccio's. But is there anyone at all to protest against that? We are now all in the camp of the "Morfovists" - even we, the often cursed by the director journalists."
~ Blood and Passion ala Morfov | I. Vagalinska, Novinar newspaper, 16.10.2000
"But we do know that the somber, constantly complaining director has an unsalvageable good heart. That is clear from the meeting of the two suffering women with the pestilential one. The poetry is doomed when cast in an ocean of love betrayals. But then, theatre has the mission of giving pointless hopes!"
~ Sasho Morfov Found the Evil Hidden in Sex | D. Staykov, 24 chasa newspaper, 16.10.2000
"Decameron, or Blood and Passion" is a spectacular theatre production on a tenth degree. In his latest show Alexander Morfov has not given roles only to the chairs in the hall. Everything is moveable on stage - turbulent, dynamic, uncontrollable. The director's imagination has once again blasted the stateliness of the National Theatre and has transformed the three-wall box into a laterna magika where in a blink of an eye fairy pictures change, stage characters fly about, silver rain falls, people die, make love, go to war and sing."
~ DecaMorfov | A. Yaneva, Viewer newspaper, 21-27.10.2000
Morfov Present his Version of "Decameron" first in Plovdiv | G. Ruleva, Novinar newspaper, 07.09.2000
Renaissance Erotics at the National Theatre | B. Asiova, Duma newspaper, 21.09.2000
Morfov: The Plague is Everywhere Around Us | Interview by E. Velichkova, Marica newspaper, 09.2000
The Blood and the Passions of Alexander Morfov | Interview by S. Tadarakova, Sega newspaper, 13.10.2000
The National Theatre Killed the Competition with "Decameron" | A. Atanassova, Standart newspaper, 16.10.2015
A Continuation of the Morfoviade at the Ivan Vazov National Theatre | V. Shumakova, Pretty Woman newspaper, 30.10.2000
"Decameron, or Blood and Passion" after Boccaccio, or Alexander Morfov's Renaissance | A. Terziev, Literature newspaper, 15-21.11.2000
Fireworks for the Tour of the National | I. Zhivkova, 24 chasa - Varna newspaper, 03.07.2001
The Prime-minister is Attending "Decameron" | Dnevnik newspaper, 03.09.2001
"Decameron" Goes to a Festival in Holland | M. Boykova, Democracy newspaper, 15.01.2002
The 50th Performance of "Decameron" is with the Special Appearance of the Director as an Actor | P. Momchilova, BTA, 27.07.2002