After a series of restrictions and scandals surrounding the change of directors, this autumn the Sofia theater life is ready to return to its old rhythm – with regular performances, without capacity limits in the halls and with the hopes that COVID-19 will not set foot on this year’s season.
At least judging by the program of the major theaters in the capital, the pandemic is already being forgotten, which allows for a richer repertoire, more premieres and the return of some familiar performances that were dropped from the regular schedule last year.
In short, if you’ve been missing the variety of Sofia’s theater scene, in the 2022/2023 season you’ll be able to make up for it with variations of one-act plays, comedies and proven productions that continue to please audiences.
As usual, this year the season will start with a performance at the “Ivan Vazov” National Theater, the program of which starts on September 13. And in addition to the first production for the fall, there are several more titles until the end of the year, which it is recommended not to miss.
The killings to order
If you love theater and mysteries, the prepared plays from the Sofia stage this year will not leave you indifferent.
The crime months begin with the premiere of “Innocent Little Murder” at the Sofia Theater based on a text by Jean-Pierre-Martinez. The first performance is on September 19, and on the day of the opening, the author of the play will be visiting the venue, who will answer questions from the audience immediately after the performance.
“Innocent Little Murder” tells about an innocent joke between two friendly families that develops into a complex love triangle with horror elements. The director of the performance is Nadia Pancheva, and on stage you will see the actors Neda Spasova, Daria Simeonova and Plamen Manasiev.
Mystery and a pinch of drama, on the other hand, will be offered by Yordanka Stefanova’s one-man show “The Chronicle of a Murder” in the “Aleko Konstantinov” Satirical Theater. Directed by Ivaylo Hristov and written by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, the actress will present her heroine’s perspectives on love and death. The premiere is scheduled for October 6.
The “Ivan Vazov” National Theater also offers criminal mysteries for the public with Yavor Gardev’s play “The Watchers (Hypothesis of the Beyond)”. Based on a text by Konstantin Iliev, the play tells the story of a young judge who signs a dubious act for a joint-stock company. Shortly after signing the document, the judge mysteriously dies while trying to find buried gold in an old Chorbadji house.
Ana Papadopoulou, Blagovest Blagoev and Dimitar Nikolov take part in the play. The premiere is on September 16.
Old but gold
Fans of theater classics can also find something for themselves in this year’s program.
Alexander Morfov’s play “Hushov” based on Ivan Vazov’s text is returning to the National Theater’s big stage. The performance tells about several Bulgarian exiles who plan the Bulgarian Liberation. Deyan Donkov, Valentin Ganev, Rusi Chanev, Valeri Yordanov and Valentin Tanev take part in the play. The first performance is on September 15.
Among the productions that have stood the test of time, this season you can also watch “Uncle Vanyo” based on the text by Anton Chekhov and directed by Nikolai Lambev-Mikhailovsky, “Overcoat” based on the text by Nikolai Gogol and directed by Nina Dimitrova, “Misunderstood Civilization” based on the text by Dobri Voynikov and directed by Nikolai Urumov and “The Master and Margarita” based on the text of Mikhail Bulgakov and directed by Nikolai Polyakov.
Cinema in the theater
One anticipated movie title and one series from last year will also have a theatrical reading in the new season.
From September 28, at the Ivan Vazov National Theater, you will be able to watch the performance “The Son” by Florian Zeller, whose film premiere with Hugh Jackman in the lead role is coming this fall. The director of the show is Diana Dobreva and, like its film version, the story will unfold around the tension between two separated parents who try to share the care of their son.
Zahari Baharov, Teodora Duchovnikova, Vladimir Penev, Alexander Tonev take part in the performance.
The HBO series “Scenes from a Family Life”, which tells about the endless separation of a family, will also get a Bulgarian theatrical version. The text is by Ingmar Bergman, and the direction is by Chris Sharkov. The production will be performed at the Little City Theater behind the canal from October 19.
Comedies from the heart and soul
What would a theater season be without laughter? Fortunately for audiences, the answer won’t become clear in the coming months, as the theaters’ schedule is drenched in comedies.
We start with “Extremely Uncomfortable” – the third part of the performance of the trio Bogdana Trifonova, Stefania Koleva and Zdrava Kamenova. The performance will be played on September 21 in the park-theatre “Borisova Gardena” and promises a new dose of humor, music and dancing around the “uncomfortable situations in life”.
The great talent of Bulgarian theatrical comedy – the director Teddy Moskov, is also returning to the stage of the Satirical Theater with the performance “Get up so I can lie down!”. The text is based on the play by Jean-Pierre Martinez “Coffin for Two”, which introduces the audience to an absurdly funny House of Death. The premiere is on October 5.
Tear and Laughter Theater offers to brighten up your everyday life with their first production of the season “900 km of laughter” premiering on September 20. The play is the work of Zdravko Zdravkov and tells the story of a man who decides to cross Santiago de Compostela on all fours.
The requests are for a funny theatrical travelogue about a pilgrim, played by Stefan Stoyanov.