19th UTE Festival

Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, Luxemburg, Poland, Portugal, Romania

The 3rd International Forest Festival is honoured to be hosting and incorporating the annual Festival of the Union of European Theatres, an organization of which the NTNG has been a member since 1996, into its programme. The Festival will therefore be broadcasting eight productions by important European theatres online in what is a first for Greece.
The productions convey the experience of the pandemic and explore serious issues which have come to the surface amidst the pressure and fear, but also people’s hopes for a more optimistic future brought into being, in part, by theatre.

“The Union of European Theatres is keen to showcase the work our members created during the pandemic, while also staging a round-table discussion on the stance and strategy the Union should adopt in the new reality ushered in by the global health crisis”
 Tompa Gábor
President of the Union of European Theatres

Every production is available online for 48 hours, during which time Greek viewers can send in their questions for the artists to answer, via both the Festival's YouTube channel and its large Facebook community.

In the framework of the festival, an  round table about the present and the future of UTE, took place on-line. Watch the discussion here.
Stefano Massini’s Ladies Football Club, directed by Giorgio Sangati, is a production from the Piccolo Teatro di Milano which spotlights the struggle for women’s rights through the story of a female football team. The second production from Italy, Kafka's Metamorphosis from the Teatro di Roma, directed/adapted by Giorgio Barberio Corsetti, is an entirely different beast. The isolation enforced by the global health crisis is often a cause of depression, and the work brings this contemporary condition to bear on Kafka’s protagonist, who is transformed into an insect by his growing alienation.

Portugal’s Teatro Nacional São João is also here with Jean Genet’s The Balcony, directed by Nuno Cardoso. And from the pure theatre of Genet, we move to another stage adaptation of a literary text, this time from the Théâtre National du Luxembourg.

THE JOURNEY. The trip is based on the novel by Bernward Vesper. Kathrin Herm directs this singular "novelistic essay" with three performers, putting one of the most radical texts of the 20th century into the limelight. Another adaptation of a novel, this time Stanislaw Lem’s Fiasco, is presented by Krakow’s National Stary Theatre, directed by Magda Szpecht. A work of science fiction, an allegory for the pessimism we feel "about our species’ future”.

The National Theatre (Prague)'s production of a topical play by the Mexican playwright Alejandro Ricaño, Hotel Good Luck, directed by Michal Dočekal, deals with our fear of death and the loss of people dear to us. Also addressing the pandemic, though in the form of an opera this time, Tompa Gábor directs Mozart's Magic Flute at the Cluj Hungarian Opera, seeking to find parallels with the present and pondering concepts which seem to have lost both their meaning and their value in our era.

Finally, the Jaffa Theatre, a theatre in Israel dedicated to promoting cooperation and mutual respect between Israelis and Arabs, stages David Grossman’s The Yellow Wind, adapted and directed by Ilan Ronen. The play, which consists of eye-witness accounts Grossman recorded on the West Bank, has provoked a good deal of intense thought and reflection.