Two Theatres – Atoneli & Galabru
29 March, 2012
Two Theatres – Atoneli & Galabru

 

The Atoneli Theatre of Tbilisi and Theatre Galabru of Paris are now two friendly thespian houses. It so happened a week ago that a small theatrical group of the Atoneli found itself in the capital city of France with the three-nights of overly successful performance of its uncannily popular production, titled ‘Good morning 100 Dollars’. The event has been a real talk of the town here in Tbilisi in the past year and a half, and now in Paris, among

the Georgian residents of the City of Light.

 

 

The Atoneli Theatre, situated in the older part of Tbilisi, is headed by its founder and owner Revaz Salukvadze, and Theatre Galabru is sitting at the bottom of Montmartre in Paris, managed by Eric Reynaud-Fourton, the French actor, producer and scriptwriter.

Incidentally, I happen to be performing one of the roles in the play, so I was in Paris with the troupe too. One of those evenings, right before the performance, I found a huge book of the world-renowned movie actors and directors, sitting on the shelf in one of the green-rooms of the Theatre. Waiting for the moment of my appearance, I delved into the album, killing time by entertaining myself going through those familiar faces of the screen. I shared my impression of the big book with Eric and he immediately told me I could have it if I wanted to. The gesture made me unimaginably happy, and I decided on the spot to present this wonderful gift from the Theatre Galabru to the Atoneli Theatre, thus creating certain amount of intimacy between the two theatres – French and Georgian.

Indeed, having returned home, our wonderful friend and boss Rezo Salukvadze met us at the Tbilisi airport at 2 a.m. with a sumptuously laid table right there at the airport. Having made a jovial but a heart-felt toast, I presented the book to our host and patron on behalf of the entire company. The pleasure and joy was immediately registered on Rezo’s kind and handsome face. And we all knew that the album, called the Cinematic Museum, would always be sitting on his desk at the Atoneli Theatre as a symbol of friendship between the two theatres – Atoneli of Tbilisi and Galabru of Montmartre. I imagine every single guest and visitor, sharing the company of Rezo Salukvadze in his private office at the Atoneli Theatre, shuffling through numerous thick and colorful pages of the album with great curiosity and pleasure, and Rezo proudly telling them where the book comes from. We all have a feeling in our bones that some day Eric and Rezo will shake each others hands and negotiate our future trips to Paris – now so well known and warmly familiar to us.

The other day, I went through the pictures and videos of the Theatre Montmartre Galabru in the internet and my heart gave a pang of pleasant reminiscence at bringing back the live images of those recent nights of performance – I just swear that I felt the warmth of the welcoming coble-stone under my feet, taking us up to the theatre building along Rue De L’Arme D’Orient of Paris, further winding towards the heart of the cozily attractive and unabashedly famous Montmartre.

This was not just another trip to Paris – great and accepting – but a romantic hello to the artistic flash of the town which is bathing in love and a foreign-eye curiosity, all at the same time. What is most interesting, something is taking our hearts and minds back to Paris, something unwittingly playful and dizzying, unobtrusively essential and philosophically deep, because we all know for sure what we did on that little stage in Paris was extremely significant to our Georgian compatriots, who witnessed the severity of our contemporary life, emanating from that lovely cute stage, and the possibility of never-dying love of humans of our planet for each other.

Let Eric and Rezo, the future, happily presumable friends, elevate the symbolism of that go-between book to the level of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two theatres – of Paris and of Tbilisi.

Oh, we need those friendships so much!

 

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