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20 3 2023
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Belarusian Actors Exchange Their Triumph For Job Firing

Belarusian Actors Exchange Their Triumph For Job Firing
By Tatiana Doroschenok
Belorusskie Novosty
While Free Theatre, an independent Belarusian theatre, was touring Great Britain in February-March 2008, two of its actresses were fired from state-run theatres, reported the Theatre Art Director Nikolay Khalezin to BelaPAN.
Anna Solomyanskaya was fired from the Gorky National Academic Drama Theatre; Marina Yurevich from the Belarusian Army Drama Theatre. The Art Director said that Free Theatre has only one officially employed actress – all others were fired some time ago on various pretexts.
Nikolay Khalezin finds this situation to be a paradox as Free Theatre has been touring the world more than other Belarusian theatres – New York, Munich, Paris, London.
Nikolay Khalezin said that Soho Theatre in London sent a letter to the Belarusian Army Theatre asking to release Marina Yurevich to perform on their platform. The Belarusian actress was not released to go touring with Free Theatre because of a premier at the Army Theatre. She did not take any notice, and was consequently fired. “It turned out that there was not any scheduled premier in that theatre,” noted Nikolay Khalezin. With regard to Anna Solomyanskaya, her theatre’s directors did not prolong her contract.
He said that the situation is complicated by the fact that Marina Yurevich was sent to the Belarusian Army Theatre by the University, and now the University can claim compensation from her to cover the cost of tuition. Nikolay Khalesin said that when British actors and dramatists found out about this situation, they were willing to provide financial support to the actress.
Talking about touring London in February-March, Art Director of Free Theatre Nikolay Khalezin said that the main result was positive reviews from European critics, and promising joint projects.
In his interview to BelaPAN Nikolay Khalezin said that during one month in Soho Theatre the Belarusian troupe performed ‘To be Harold Pinter’ 16 times, and ‘The Jeans Generation’ eight times. He said that such presentations were the first ones in the history of the Belarusian theatre in terms of length and appreciation from the audience and critics.
Nikolay Khalezin said that Free Theatre’s performances received high regards from British critics “which was very difficult especially for a foreign theatre”. In his opinion, theatre experts appreciated the professionalism of Free Theatre actors and directors and commented on a distinctive approach to drama material based on real life stories from the actors’ lives.
Nikolay Khalezin also said that while touring, the Belarusian troupe was offered numerous join projects concerning Free Theatre’s performances and training. Such famous British actors as Kim Cattrall, Diana Quick, and others might be involved in these projects. With regard to training, ‘Free Theatre was offered to run a course in the British Theatre Speech and Drama School, and in the Theatre Faculty at Leeds University.

21 Марта, 2008
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