Roger Vitrac. VICTOR, OR POWER TO THE CHILDREN Premiere

  • Director

    Gintaras VARNAS

  • Duration

    3 h 30 min (3 acts)

  • Stage

    New Stage

  • Premiere date

    11th of April 2024

  • N-14

About

Translated from French into Lithuanian by Vincentas KLIPČIUS

 

With “Victor, or Power to the Children”, director Gintaras Varnas aims to continue his long-established cycle of surrealist theatre (Federico García Lorca's “If Five Years Had Passed By”, “The Audience”, “Sombras”, Guillaume Apollinaire's “The Breasts of Tiresias”, etc.). His main inspiration for the direction was the social criticism reflected in the piece of writing. According to the director, it could be like a kind of small-sized variation of Aldous Huxley's “Brave New World”.

The director speaks out against primitivization and modernization in the theatre and asks whether a person of a little mark has the right to destroy the prevailing stereotypical order of society. He argues that it is a witty satirical parable from the 1930s about the family and the false and hypocritical, cowardly and bourgeois world of “welfare” created by parents, which is happily subverted by rebellious little anarchists, nihilists, and hooligan children – and that this is why it should be considered to have a new sounding today, in the third decade of the 21st century.

Roger Vitrac (1899–1952) was a French surrealist writer, playwright and poet. Born in Pinzac, he moved to Paris in 1910. From 1922 to 1928 he was involved in Surrealist activities, announced a Dada manifesto, published the magazine “Aventure” and contributed to the first editions of “La Révolution Surréaliste”.

After gradually breaking away from the group with Antonin Artaud, together they founded the Alfred Jarry Theatre in 1926, where they wrote some of their most important Surrealist plays. “Victor, or Power to the Children” was the second work of Vitrac and Artaud. It premiered in Paris at the “Comédie des Champs-Elysées” on 24 December 1928, Christmas Eve.

In creating this performance, Artaud and Vitrac dreamt of a virtual reality theatre that would resist the trivial tradition of linear, narrative Western theatre. The play shows a phantasmagorical celebration of the ninth birthday of Victor, the two-meter son of Paul and Émilie Paumelle. Throughout the three acts, provocative scenes alternated between each other, confirming Artaud's manifesto: “The audience, when they come to our theatre, will feel that they are taking part in a real action, where not only the mind is at work, but also the senses and the body. From now on, they will go to the theatre as they would to a surgeon or a dentist, in the same mood; of course, they will not die, but the theatre is a serious business, and they will not come out of it in one piece ... They must know that we can make them cry."

The surrealist play “Victor, or Power to the Children” is a satire close to the theatre of the absurd, mocking the conformism of the bourgeoisie, along with the clichés of language that mask secret hatred and cruelty. The work ironically demolishes the prevailing stereotypical view of marriage, religion, and a seeming order that defies logic and is directed against the morality of the bourgeois middle class, the institution of the family, or society in general.

Dates

  • June 19 (Wed), 19:00 New Stage

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Creators

  • Director — Gintaras VARNAS
  • Set designer — Gintaras MAKAREVIČIUS
  • Costume and Make-up Designer — Juozas STATKEVIČIUS
  • Composer — Martynas BIALOBŽESKIS
  • Light designer — Vilius VILUTIS
  • Director's Assistant — Regina GARUOLYTĖ
  • Producer — Rugilė PUKŠTYTĖ

Cast

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