fot. Dimityj Matvejev

MINETTI, dir. by R. Tuminas | Lithuanian Week

Who is he – the mysterious gentleman Minetti appearing in a lobby of Ostend city hotel before the New Year, in a blizzard?

He is an actor and he will tell about himself, and we will become hostages of his history, destiny, mystifications, imagination play, dreams about the role of King Lear, vexatious openness and depressing secrets lost between reality and fiction. Minetti is a sensitive play about an old actor who has not been on the stage for about 30 years, who dreams to play King Lear for the last time, who spills out his thoughts about the existence of an artist, performance art, the pursuit of perfection, the relationship with the audience, and society seeking for entertaining and conveniences. The character of T. Bernhard amazes with the power of his flow of thoughts and his truths proclaimed to the viewer providing him with liberating force.

Thomas Bernhard (1931 – 1998) is an Austrian writer, playwright and poet, who earned the status of a classic while still alive, although he constantly afforded utterances traumatising the Austrian national pride feelings. Thomas Bernhard began writing for the theatre when he already was a mature literary master, who discovered his manner of writing and was confident of his stance. Dramaturgical Bernhard’s legacy is highly integral. If you read his plays one after the other, you will get an impression that it is a single piece, an epic saga of one huge tribe, family, and their very intertwined and complicated relationships. Bernhard’s theatre is not only a literary phenomenon. During the very first installation he succeeded to find his director – Clauss Peymann and actors, and therefore, later each piece was actually written having a specific troupe of actors in mind. Thomas Bernhard’s play Minetti written and acted in 1976 is dedicated to one of the most famous German actors Bernhard Minetti (1905-1998). The epigraph of the play “Portrait of old days of the artist” sounds like a dedication to the great theatre artist. The play refers to the Belgian painter James Ensor (1860 – 1949) who was born in Ostend, Belgium, in the northwest city, near the North Sea. It is there that the action of Minetti takes place, mixed associations with the late works of James Ensor – paintings Afternoon in Ostend 1882, Lonely Masks 1891, Death and Masks 1892, full of grotesque, expressionism and symbolism features.
Thomas Bernhard’s play opens up a strange reality of life, deformed human relationships, alienation, frustration, and inner human hell. Particularly important in this play is its main character actor – maestro Minetti who will be embodied on the stage of Vilnius Small Theatre by Vladas Bagdonas. The text of the play has no distinguishing highlights, meaning that the space of different treatments and ambiguities is opened up in front of the actors. Vladas Bagdonas explains: “I’ve always been fond of creating stories of marginalized people. I would say that Pirosmani was my life’s role. And Minetti, I think – is my last such big role in theatre. These two roles build a bridge.”

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Small Theatre of Vilnius
Director: Rimas Tuminas
Set-design: Adomas Jacovskis
Costumes: Kotryna Daujotaitė
Music: Faustas Latėnas

MINETTI – Vladas Bagdonas
LADY – Inga Burneikaitė
HOTEL STAFF – Agnė Kiškytė, Daumantas Ciunis, Tomas Stirna
GUESTS – MASKS – Indrė Patkauskaitė, Elžbieta Latėnaitė, Tomas Rinkūnas, Tomas Kliukas
GIRL – Indrė Patkauskaitė
MUSICIAN – Kristina Žebrauskaitė
MARRIED COUPLE – Bronė Stapulionienė, Kazys Vytautas Stapulionis


The Lithuanian Week is organised by Gdański Teatr Szekspirowski and Fundacja Theatrum Gedanense in cooperation with Cultural Attache of the Republic of Lithuania and Lithuanian Cultural Institute.

Partners of the event are: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and Lithuanian Cultural Council.

The Lithuanian Week has been financially supported by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.