British Theatre Director Seeks Inspiration in Kazakhstan

ALMATY – The Kasteev State Art Museum recently hosted a meeting with British theatre director Tim Supple, who is planning to stage a performance about the former republics of the Soviet Union from the revolution of 1917 to the present day.

Before the meeting, Supple toured the exhibition halls of the museum, looking for information about Kazakhstan’s culture and its artists to use in his performance, which he expects to premier in 2015. Supple is currently looking for writers, actors and musicians and considering performance and rehearsal venues.

Тим СапплSupple never visited the Soviet Union, but it always interested him. He said he has come to Kazakhstan and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) for inspiration. Supple makes long studies of the subjects he uses in his performances and keeps a journal of his interactions with people and the customs and traditions he learns on his travels. He worked on his most recent piece, a staging of “A Thousand and One Nights,” for 10 years. The performance is staged with a team of actors from North Africa and the Middle East and lasts six hours. It was called “an instant classic” after its premier at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Supple adheres to the Stanislavsky system. Although the stage and characters are most important, he also believes in using the latest technology to help viewers understand his performances and plans to use screens to translate onstage dialogue when he stages his production on the former Soviet republics. Screens providing translations of the dialogue onstage will be set up among the audience.

Supple noted that two of his most recent productions were multilingual. One in the United Arab Emirates was performed in three languages; one in India in eight. The upcoming performance about the Soviet Union is most likely to be conducted in Russian.