Two and a Half Sisters
Written and Directed by Lee Delong
With Iva Peter-Dragan, Nikolina Majdak, Adriana Josipovic
With musician Pavle Miljenovic
Produced by Triko Cirkus Teatar and MCUK
Approaching a classic theme in a burlesque style gives a double advantage. Since the audience is superior to the actors--in that they know what the outcome of the story will be, they know what’s coming next—they are free to laugh at human plight. They may also discover resonances that are more actual or more relevant to their own lives, which is the second advantage. Taking the old story and painting it with other colors removes stigma and old notions of ‘classic.’
With Two and a Half Sisters, the themes found in Chekov are the frame for three sisters who are kitsch circus performers, with a wastrel brother, who end up impoverished and dream of Las Vegas.
Wishes and desires, dreams and hopes, are dashed against the reality of a world where women with no skills but embroidery and no education but the circus must sell the only thing they have….themselves.
Burlesque meets Chekhov
Novi List, 02.01.2013
by Natasa Govedic
Three great young actors….perform in this genre-rich interpretation of Chekhov's classic…. Chekhov's story of three sisters stuck in the Russian province is the model for the circus performers in this story (who are ambitious as well as deliberately clumsy), and who "grow old" so quickly that they spend most of the rest of their lives waiting for anything to happen, but of course nothing does.
Humor of waiting
….the characters…fall into the increasingly cruel burlesque of waiting. Comic miniatures include fainting of boredom, obsessive scratching of itchy clothes, tea time as a spectacle of throwing spoons in the air, mumbling of rhymes, fighting; this followed by "over-the-top" health concerns, with many Band-Aids and significantly administered tablespoons of medicinal beverages.
There’s a great scene in which the three sisters bring a box of old family photos to the stage: a play within the play or a dense weave of emotional reactions, played entirely without text. This is also the best part of the performance, in which each nuance of the individual characterization and their interrelationship is maximized.
Nikolina Majdak, Iva Peter-Dragan and Adriana Josipovic prove that they are capable comedians and that they are precise in their expressiveness in dance, which significantly contributes to the quality of the performance. The very idea of treating A. P. Chekhov as a circus template speaks in favor of the author's courage….
©2020 by Lee Delong