|Photo by Dmitrij Matvejev
Although Oedipus by Dainius Gavenonis greets the audience in the sand box, this does not imply that Oskaras Koršunovas intends to play with the ancient text. Before going to the performance, it is advisable to read the play. This will make it easier to understand what these shadowy silhouettes of toys surrounding Oedipus are. Also, having read the play, you will decide whether it’s worth believing the words of a horrible charred Pinocchio or not.
The premonition that something threatening, something devastating is going to happen descends on the audience from the moment they see the place where Oedipus Rex is performed. Here, the set design is like an implementation of a nightmare. Upon the will of the director as well as the set designer, on the stage there’s a playground familiar to those in the yards of monolithic blocks of flats in Šeškinė district. And this one of the most innocent spaces of the city, full of children voices is revealed as a place suitable for the action of the ancient tragedy. (…) Infants with bodies of teletubbies and heads of a small Buddha run and crawl on the stage. A charred Pinocchio placed in the sand box. Toys with eerie Mickey Mice grimaces.
By Ramunė Marcinkevičiūtė. Ohdipus (Lith. Oidipas). Kultūros barai, No.1, 2003
(…) the director is interested in the myth. The myth and not the drama by Sophocles is the beginning. According to literary critics, it is also the first detective story. Maybe that’s the reason why the creators are not so enthusiastic about words – actors can swallow and bite the words off, can devote themselves to overall intonation. Words serve only as a melody for an accurate dance reminiscent of the Noh theatre, where the sound of percussion accompanies every step and gesture. Words are drowned in silence, when the most impressive and the most inventive scenes of the performance are born (the most spectacular one is the flight of Oedipus on the swings of universe).
By Vaidas Jauniškis. King in Sand Box (Lith. Karalius smėlio dėžėje). Kauno diena,21-09-2002
Oedipus by Dainius Gavenonis is stuck somewhere in the phase between childhood and maturity. He isn’t aware of the answers to the questions. Neither does he know how to live. In the first scene, he is a self-confident businessman, a man of fortune who gets lost in the courtyard he used to play in when he was a child. From the point of view of reality, this is a grown-up man undergoing a nervous breakdown. In a mythical sense he is Odysseus who has just landed on his native island in order to reveal that he is Oedipus – a criminal and the cursed king. Gradually, exhausted by inevitable self-knowledge, the face of Gavenonis turns into a mask.
By Lukasz Drewniak. Light and Sand (Lith. Šviesa ir smėlis). Tygodnik powszechny
Both at the very beginning and in the finale, Oedipus by Dainius Gavenonis remains alone. But there’s immense difference between these two states of lonesomeness! Similarly significant difference can also be traced between a plastic Mickey Mouse mask and the tragic mask of the face of an old Shepherd by Laimonas Noreika who remains seated in the proscenium from the beginning of the performance. The entire amplitude of meanings as well as means of expression of the performance is concealed between those two masks.
By Audronis Liuga. Fair Copy of Oedipus Rex (Lith. Oidipo karaliaus švarraštis). 7 meno dienos, 20-09-2002