A streetcar Named Desire
Translation : Manana Antadze.
Staging : Keti Dolidze
Designer: Mamuka Tkeshelashvili
Costumes Designer : Lali Badridze Sophie Koridze
Music : Ann Murghulia
Technical Director : Sophie Ordzhonikidze
Cast: Nineli Chakvetadze, Irina Giunashvili, Imeda Arabuli, Vano Dugladze, Temur Gvalia, Keti Asatiani, Guga Kakhiani, Tsotne Metonidze, Tamuna Buachidze, Ilia Cheishvili
Duration : 90 min
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Posted by Martin Miller
Assembly Roxy (Venue 139)
August 4th to 29th (not 10, 15 or 22)
This brilliant production of what is now a classic is gritty, down to earth and deeply believable. Every member of the cast enters into the action with gusto and commitment. Director Keti Dolidze has inspired them to give of their best.
The opening reunion of the sisters tells us much about these central characters. Blanche (Nineli Chankuetadte) combines deep insecurity and fragility with a kind of strength. She has come to stay with her sister ostensibly because she has stopped working at a school, but her life is falling apart. Sister Stella (Irina Giureshvili) has married Stanley, a worker of Polish family and of a very different type and class from the people Blanche is used to and grew up with. But Stella loves him, despite his glaring faults. She does her best to liaise between her visitor and her husband, but this is tough, and she is heavily pregnant.
Card games happen often in the household, and one of Stanley’s friends, Mitch, becomes close to Blanche. Here, Teimuraz Gvalia gives an impressive performance, showing clearly the range of emotions he goes through.
This is an intensely involving production, and the fact that there are surtitles does not affect involvement – these, as we are told at the beginning, are not re-translations but always word for word Tennessee Williams’ text. We are a very long way from Hollywood glamour here, and the cast transport us to a vibrant community, struggling to make life as good as possible, rowing but dealing with their conflicts together.
If you want to see new life breathed into a classic, with passion, violence and heartbreak convincingly portrayed, this is one to make sure you do not miss.
Take one of the finest theatre cultures in Europe, famous for its rich combination of emotional eloquence and visual beauty; then take the show that was acclaimed as that country’s best production of 2015, featuring a leading performance also garlanded in awards.
Star rating: ****
Venue: Assembly Roxy (Venue 139) That’s what’s on offer at the Roxy, in this beautiful production – played (with English surtitles) by the Tumanishvili Film Actors Studio of Georgia – of Tennessee Williams’s great modern classic about the fate of former southern belle Blanche Dubois, now broken, homeless, and dependent on the kindness of her sister Stella, and Stella’s brutally aggressive working-class husband, Stanley. Staged against the beautifully-realised backdrop of a back-alley bar across the street, where the projected shadows of musicians play magnificent riffs of 1930s New Orleans jazz swelling up and fading behind the action, Keti Dolidze’s finely shaped 95-minute production offers a fascinating companion piece to this year’s Edinburgh International Festival production of The Glass Menagerie, reflecting the same sense that southern women like Blanche are not the fragile, mentally damaged flowers they are often taken for, but immensely strong women fighting for their lives, for their dreams, and for what they love, and eventually broken by social forces no human being could easily withstand. Led by the magnificent Nineli Chankvetadze as Blanche, and Irina Giunashvili as a lovely and forceful Stella, the company offer a powerful vision of a culture where the women are tightly bound together in a sisterhood of mutual support and help, against the frequent violence and injustice of their menfolk. And if the bond between Blanche and Stella is finally broken when Stanley’s violence reaches a place Stella cannot afford to acknowledge, it remains the most powerful relationship in this unforgettable version of Williams’s great play; and the one that will haunt Stella, for the rest of her married life. Until 29 August. Today 1:55pm. Click here for more reviews from the Edinburgh Festival
Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/theatre/theatre-review-a-streetcar-named-desire-1-4211593