The renowned Oskaras Korđunovas Theatre (OKT) from Lithuania appeared October 22-25, 2008 at the 23rd Melbourne International Arts Festival to critical and popular acclaim. The highly
applauded modern version of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, directed by Oskaras Korđunovas, left Melbourne theatre public with an unforgettable experience.
“Romeo and Juliet” set in a pizza parlour. Photo courtesy OKT Theatre
The play, set in rival pizzerias, was performed in Lithuanian with English subtitles, but everyone agreed that the visual impact of the production was so striking, that language was absolutely
no barrier to understanding. Korđunovas’ production was performed six times in the Melbourne “Playhouse” theatre, which seats nearly a thousand, and after every performance received
a standing ovation, something Melbourne theatre goers cannot remember happening before.
Melbourne Festival Artistic Director Kristy Edmunds (left) with
Oskaras Korđunovas (right) and translator Akvilë Melkűnaitë.
The Melbourne Festival Patrons’ Circle voted it as the best event of the Festival and it also won the “The Age” newspaper critics top award. Corrie Perkin in “The Australian” described the
production as one of the “two most energetic and exciting works in the Festival”. Oscar winner actor Geoffrey Rush heaped praise on the performance, as did many other Australian theatre
Korđunovas Theatre has already toured most of Europe, the USA, South America and many countries in Asia. Just prior to coming to Australia they toured Denmark and Norway. The city of
Stavanger in Norway saw the premiere of Korđunovas’ new production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” to very enthusiastic reviews. On leaving Australia, the “Romeo and Juliet” production
travelled to Beijing in China. From China, the production will be going on to Georgia. The Theatre is due to return to Lithuania in the latter half of November, to stage the Lithuanian premiere
of the new “Hamlet” production.
Melbourne Lithuanians meet up with Oskaras Korđunovas (centre).
(L-R) Dana Binkienë, Mykolas Kozlovskis, Lilija Kozlovskienë, Aldona Vyđniauskienë.
This is not the first time that a Lithuanian theatre has toured Australia. In 1995 Korđunovas and his theatre appeared in the Perth Festival, while in 1992 the famous director Eimuntas Nekrođius
and his theatre appeared in the Adelaide Festival.
www.theage.com.au 4,23/10/08 www.theaustralian.com.au 24,28/10/08 www.lrytas.lt 30/10/08 “Műsř Pastogë” 22/10/08 www.okt.lt