The Caucasian Chalk Circle
The person who does not help a crying infant in danger renounces for good his or her ability to love. But what if helping such a baby might result in a long race to save one’s own life? The Caucasian Chalk Circle is a beautiful story as interspersed with songs as the best musicals.
Grusha Vachnadze risks her own life when saving a tiny baby from the burning palace of the Georgian Governor and carrying it – through a war-torn country – to a safer place. She sacrifices everything she has, including her love for her fiancé. Yet for the authorities it is far easier not to consider her claim to the child and to take the baby away from her. In his story about ‘natural’ love inspired by a defenceless child, and about the non-acceptance of such a feeling by society, German playwright Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) uncovers the simplicity and the seriousness of human actions. The 1961 staging of The Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Mahen Theatre, under the direction of Evžen Sokolovský, ranks among the legendary feats of Czech drama. Now, sixty years later, the play is going to be shown on the same stage. Directed by Aminata Keita it will be accompanied by the original music produced by Brecht’s co-worker, renowned German composer Paul Dessau (1894–1979). Three generations later the time has come again to tell the story about love meaning more than biological rights.
Original music by Paul Dessau was adapted by Ivo Sedláček.
Premiere: at Mahen Theatre on March 25th, 2022
Photo by Petr Neubert