The Caucasian Chalk Circle is one of Bertolt Brecht’s best-known plays, it was premiered in 1954 in Berlin. It is where Brecht’s concept of “epic theatre”, a fundamental feature of his dramaturgy, is most clearly demonstrated. The play is inspired by an ancient Chinese legend and King Solomon's parable in the Bible, in both of which women are subjected to what seems a cruel ritual motherhood test.
Brecht sets the plot in civil-war-torn Georgia, where the country’s governor, Georgi Abasvili, is assassinated in a coup staged by the Prince, while the city is set ablaze. Natella, the governor’s fleeing wife abandons her young son, who is taken in by the kind-hearted maid Grusha Vachnadze. From then on, she raises him as her own child, taking on all kinds of hardship and even breaking her beau Simon Chachava’s heart. However, the governor’s wife returns after the war to reclaim her biological child. The solution to this seemingly unsolvable dilemma is left to Azdak, the judge of the community, who tries to adjudicate in the dispute between the two women using an ancient test known as the “Caucasian chalk circle”.
Is tender love stronger than blood ties? Can justice be done between two kinds of maternal hearts? Brecht's popular play seeks answers to these painful moral questions.
“Any war, any loss can only be repaired by kindness”, says production director Avtandil Varsimashvili.
Section: Nemzeti Színház Showcase
Georgian director Avtandil Varsimashvili is one of Georgia’s famous directors. He is Artistic Director of the state Academic Griboedov Theatre and “Liberty Theatre”. He has received the Georgian State National Award, the Kote Marjanishvili Theatre Excellence Award, the Mikheil Tumanishvili Award. He was the winner of the “Zolotoi Vityaz” Festival and of the Grand Prix at the Golden Lion Festival in Lviv, Ukraine. He has received Georgia’s “Order of Honour”. He is President of the Georgian national office of the International Theatre Institute (ITI). He is a full Professor at the “Tbilisi Theatre and Film University”, teaching directors’ master classes in and outside Georgia. He has directed over 60 plays, one film, 4 TV films and 14 documentaries.