The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis)

The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis)


The Caucasian Chalk Circle (written in 1945), a play by German playwright Bertolt Brecht, has never been staged in Estonia before. It is based on the biblical legend of Solomon and two women who both claim to be the mother of the same child. They ask Solomon to end their dispute. Brecht, “the founder of epic theatre”, wrote this grand, poetic play with its many characters and locations in Second World War Georgia based on the fable. As war breaks out, a young woman called Grusha saves a stranger’s child, and together they go on a journey full of challenges and incredible events. We see how a person’s courage, inner freedom and goodness of heart can save them at crucial and life-changing moments.

Brecht’s drama has often been staged in Georgian theatres. A 1975 version directed by Robert Sturua, a great figure in Georgian theatre, became legendary. At the time of his production, Avtandil Varsimashvili was one of his students – and it is Varsimashvili who now offers the audience a contemporary take on this well-known play.

Varsimashvili is not an unknown name to people in Tartu and Estonia. In 2014 he directed his own play, I Love! I Love! I Love!, at the Harbour Theatre together with young actors from the Vanemuine. At the Festival of Freedom, Brecht’s drama is being performed by Varsimashvili’s youthful group from Tbilisi Freedom Theatre, which was established by Varsimashvili in 2001. It quickly became the most popular theatre in Georgia, and its theatrically and socially vivid plays have been staged in several countries.

In Georgian with Estonian subtitles

“The Caucasian Chalk Circle” is in the FREEDOM FESTIVAL 2018 program

Music Paul Dessau
Director Avtandil Varsimashvili
Designer Mirian Shvelidze