There are 24 theatrical troops and 48 exciting performances – the heart of the Mondial du Theatre in Monaco which is also known as the International Festival of Amateur Theatre. The best amateur actors from all over the world have come to demonstrate their creativity and emotions through their productions. From 21 to 30 August, on the best stages of the Principality, each country will perform twice to ensure that the maximum number of spectators can attend their performances. Different cultures – different opinions. Every theatre is looking for the way of entertaining in its own way, and every actor has their own expectations. The festival, launched for the first time in 1957, stands on 3 principles: they are also the main missions of Mondial du Téâtre: confrontation, exchange of skills and education (workshops for the troupes).
HelloMonaco managed to talk with the directors and actors from different countries: Hungary, England and Russia. Each of the artistic groups shared the secrets of their productions, and their impressions of the festival and points of views on contemporary theater art. Our interview starts with the Hungarian troupe and its production director Sandor Komaromi. Hungarian theatre has taken part in the festival for the first time.
Hungary – Telesztrion Theatre Group-Papa
What’s your play about? What story would you like to tell to the audience?
Medea is one of the main characters of ancient Greek mythology. She is the first strong woman in dramatic history, the first “self-made” woman and a kind of feminist. After her husband leaves the family, she takes revenge by killing her children. This is a very powerful story, interpreted by our team. Our play is more like the lessons of life; it demonstrates mistakes that should not be repeated in real life. Five actors are going to take part in the performance. The premiere of this performance took place 2 years ago in Hungary.
What emotions do you want to arouse in the audience of Monaco with your performance?
The drama will be quite heavy. But for us, the emotions of the public are very important, because the theatre is a game of actors with the audience. We do not say that we want tears from the audience. We want to teach what not to do in real life.
In which countries have you already had your performances?
In many countries of Europe: Italy, Romania, but in Monaco we are here for the first time. This is a very inspiring place!
What is “talent” for you?
Talent is a gift that is developed by constant learning. If it’s there, it cannot be hidden, especially in the youngest actors.
Great Britain – The Questors Theatre, London
You have the privilege in opening the festival, how does it feel?
It’s a responsibility on us. To start the festival with a good performance, which we are hoping to do, obviously. Over the past few weeks we were working very hard on the rehearsals. We have 6 actors in a production, Quinn-12 years old is the youngest and we also have 2 musicians (drummer and pianist).
Could you tell us more about your play “Red Peppers”?
It’s a very famous play written by Noël Coward, who is an actor as well. The duration of our play is only 30 min and the main story is about the life of entertainers from the 1930’s who travel all around the country performing in different towns night after night. We see the couple of numbers they are performing to the audience, but also we see them backstage. Everything is not quite so happy: performers tend to argue. The main focus is on the theatre management and what it is about. Quinn, plays Alf, a boy who has to go around to all the dressing rooms, backstage to make sure that the performance is ready to come on stage.
What is the story of The Questers Theatre?
It was formed in 1929 initially by a small group of friends. Nowadays we have around 1,500 members, including people who just support our theatre. We have a pretty big youth section of different ages. They also go to classes mainly on the weekend. Due to this they are able to participate in different productions.
Do you travel a lot with your performances?
No, it’s quite unusual. Normally we stay within our theatre. For an amateur theatre we are really a well established place. But when we found out that we can be part of Mondial Theatre in Monaco, we were super excited.
What is talent for you?
It’s something that you should feel in yourself and start working on. In a lot of cases it’s also about a confidence.
Russia – Grotesque Theatre, Surgut
Could you tell us more about your production?
We brought with us the “Comedy of Love”. This is a comedy in the style of silent film. Everything here depends on movement. Obviously, our lyrical comedy tells about love, the way in which there are always plenty of obstacles. Anyway, it turns out to have a happy-ending.
What is the role of the audience for you?
It’s very important. Any performance is a result of the interaction of actors with the audience. We had one play about love in a concentration camp, “Alpine Ballad”. This year we had a real event, we showed this play in the Kremlin Palace, and there were 8,000 spectators. After the final phrase, everybody stood to applaud. This was the case when the audience gave us a wave of emotions.
Here you are talking about the performance “without words”. But what about joking in the language of movements?
It is difficult. We need to find a situation that is comical. For instance, there is something for the main character that disturbs him, but for the public it looks funny. The characters are being plunged in a situation that is not funny for them, but for the viewer it is funny. It’s really hard to get a human to laugh sincerely. The most miserable spectacle is a not funny comedy.
What is “talent” for you?
In my opinion, this is what is given by God, and the director can direct talent, develop it, but not give, because he is not God. This talent just needs to be noticed; sometimes its shine breaks through the shell. And we are gradually removing it, so that it shines the brightest.
One thing is sure, the International Festival of Amateur Theatre will bring some shining amateur stars to the Monaco stages!