The Omsk State Drama Theater (main stage)

Vilnius Small State Theatre (Lithuania)

"Madagascar" M. Ivaškevicius

Directed by Rimas Tuminas

Featuring Ramunas Cicenas.

Vilnius Small State Theatre (Lithuania) was founded by Rimas Tuminas in 1990. Rimas Tuminas is a laureate of a Russian Federation State Prize and a "Golden Mask" award.

His productions successfully participated in such festivals as "Baltic Spring", "Baltic House", "Life", "Contact", "Chekhov International Theater Festival" and some others.

The "Madagascar" received a "Golden Mask" as the "Best Foreign Production of 1998". Rimas Tuminas has staged more than 20 plays in Lithuania and abroad. He's been working as an artistic director at The Vakhtangov Theater since 2007.

The "Madagascar" toured in Riga, Vienna, and Brussels, received several awards. "When I first read about the adventures of a Lithuanian guy, who went out to discover new land for his country, I laughed at first (his last name is Pastaks, a "joke" for Lithuanian). But when I finished the book I got upset. It's a very sad story",- says Mr. Tuminas.

Review

Tuminas is a master of emotions. He built his "Madagascar" on counterpoints: between the word and the metaphor (like in the end of the first act, when the characters start burning paper ships after a nonsensical dialog between Pastaks and Oskaras, it becomes clear - the choice is made, ships are burned and Pastaks will go all the way to bring Lithuanians to Africa); it is balancing between the funny side of the metaphor and the sad truth of reality.

The Lithuanian play was a success in Torun. Tuminas was awarded the best director, Sale Gintare Latvenaite won the award for the best actress. Ramunas Cicenas was awarded as well, in fact, his only competitor in Torun was Valery Barinov, who played Jacob Bronza in Kama Ginkas's "Rothschild's Violin"

Boris Tukh "St. Petersburg Theater Magazine", 2005, #41

It may seem that Tuminas doesn't like contemporary drama and prefers classical theater. However today not only he staged a modern play, but also he came up with an original plot for it. The play... well, it is vivid, with a subtle sense of humor but at the same time educative and up-to-date, funny and bitter. It is about (pure and simple) paradoxes of the Lithuanian national self-definition, about enormous ambitions of a tiny country. It tells you about Lithuanian natural qualities, their hopes and aspirations, right or wrong. But in fact the "Madagascar" is a love song.

The play is written in a funny epos-like language. In Russian translation it looks like a combination of folk tales, myths, social propaganda and books by Andrey Platonov. Only a native Lithuanian could create a play, that is so brutally ironic to the mistakes of his people and the same time so loving to their true selves.

However, Russian audience is not laughing and crying at the misfortunes of Lithuanians, they are laughing at their own, because national issues, raised in the "Madagascar" are universal. You can see how helpless people are when it comes to real life. For a modern theater as we know it, this performance is too kind and warm. For a traditional one - too elaborate and free. Well, why would you need to tag this beautiful play? It is so smart and lively, it will not leave you untouched.

Natalya Kaminskaya, 2006

http://www.kultura-portal.ru/tree_new/cultpaper/article.jsp?number=662&rubric_id=20