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The 2017 archive

Rezo Gabriadze

Tbilissi / First time in France

Ramona © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


Inspiration can be a mischievous thing, especially when it is triggered by a quote by Rudyard Kipling stating that “a locomotive is, next to a marine engine, the most sensitive thing man ever made.” Coming across this sentence among his many memories, Rezo Gabriadze decided one day to return to two of his childhood friends: the locomotive and the circus tent. Both are relics of a disappearing world, living within his memory like autonomous organisms. In Ramona, the director and puppeteer once again calls on all his artistry to reveal the animation that resides in things and to give voice to the delicate feelings they experience. In a train station somewhere in the USSR, Ramona, an optimistic locomotive, curious and quick, falls in love with a solid steel engine, Ermon. But the latter isn't free to choose where his rails will lead him, his destination dictated by the points that orient him towards faraway lands... On their trajectory, a circus, its magic, and its troupe of acrobats accompany the star-crossed lovers. The popular tunes, the smell of sawdust, and the grand gestures of the circus provide a backdrop for the feelings, steam emissions, and whistles of the locomotives in love.


Rezo Gabriadze
A poet who expresses himself in various ways, Rezo Gabriadze writes, draws, sculpts, builds, paints, and creates the characters and stories he directs in the theatre he founded in 1981 in Tbilisi, Georgia. After working as a journalist, he began his career in cinema “by accident,” but soon found himself directing his own films. Up until the 1990s, he also wrote many screenplays for films which met with great success in the USSR, notably Mimino and Kin-dza-dza! According to him, it's also “by accident” that he picked up puppetry, becoming a master of the art with The Autumn of our Springtime in 1985. Next to his theatre, characters, sets, and other creations fill a wondrous tower which illustrates his relationship to the world: in his work, inanimate objects aren't necessarily deprived of souls, and the past and the present keep crossing in always delicate ways, sometimes with extravagance and often with humour. Recognised throughout the world for the enchanting way he uses his childhood and his ties to Soviet Russia in his work, Rezo Gabriadze now returns to the Festival d'Avignon twenty years after The Song of the Volga.


Text, direction, puppets and stage design Rezo Gabriadze
Music Rezo Gabriadze, Elena Japaridze
Lights Mamuka Bakradze
Sound David Khositashvili
Puppets construction, decor and accessories Tamar Chalauri, Nana Chezghia, Oleg Ermolaev, Giorgi Giorgobiani, Avdtandil Gonashvili, Luka Gonashvili, Gela Jangirashvili, Aleksander Kheimanovski, Levan Kiknavelidze, Tamar Kobakhidze, Aleksandra Luniakova, Artem Ozerov, Svetlana Pavlova, Viktor Platonov

With Tamar Amirajibi, Giorgi Giorgobiani, Vladimer Meltser, Anna Nijaradze, Nino Sajaia, Irakli Sharashidze


Production Théâtre Gabriadze, Prima Donna, Tcmj - Mona Guichard
With the support of Onda

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