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Top actors from Bulgaria and world heroes in April in Gabrovo for the ninth edition of Solo Act

Top actors from Bulgaria and world heroes in April in Gabrovo for the ninth edition of Solo Act

Marius Kurkinski and Krasimir Rankov open the International Monodrama Festival “Solo Act” on April 2 in the city of humor and satire. Tickets go on sale from February 29.

The ninth edition of the forum, dedicated to theater mono-performances, will last six days from April 2 to 7.

The festival, organized by the Drama Theater “Racho Stoyanov”, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Gabrovo, takes place every two years and this year promises an exciting program. A galaxy of beloved Bulgarian actors will shine on the stages in Gabrovo, and the international program turns its attention to the biblical character Jonah and the remarkable artist Francisco Goya. The opening of the festival and Marius Kurkinski’s one-man show “Nashenets” will be the first events in the newly renovated “Emanuil Manolov” House of Culture in Gabrovo. For the first time, the festival will also have a regional dimension, as the performance “My God” by Hristo Mutafchiev will be presented in both Dryanovo and Sevlievo.

Tickets for all performances from the festival program are on sale from February 29 – at the theater box office and online on the theater’s website:

A jury of theater specialists will award six awards in the form of a statuette and a cash prize. The awards are in the category of director, artist, composer, actor, actress and performance. Traditionally, the monetary prizes are provided by business, which makes the monodrama festival in Gabrovo one of the unique examples in this regard in the country. This year, the members of the professional jury are: chairman – Aglika Stefanova-Oltean – theater scholar and theater critic, members:Михаил Мутафов – актьор; Надежда Петкова – актриса; Петър Влайков – актьор и директор на Държавен куклен театър – Пловдив; Ивайло Ненов – режисьор.

Viewers, in turn, will have their vote in determining a favorite performance of the audience.

And an alternative jury, consisting of members of the public from Gabrovo, will also award prizes in the same categories.

Here are the headlines and the actors that the people of Gabrovo and the guests of the city will have the pleasure of watching.

On April 2, the beginning of the festival will be marked by the bright presence of Krasimir Rankov and his one-man show “The Old Man and the Sea” (Production of the Drama Theater – Plovdiv). The play has been nominated for the “Askeer 2023” award in the Monoplay category. The beloved actor takes on the role of the fisherman Santiago from Ernest Hemingway’s classic novel of the same name, dedicated to the indomitable will and faith of man.)

Immediately after him, Marius Kurkinski will open the renovated building and stage of the “Emanuil Manolov” House of Culture with his latest performance “Nashenets” based on texts by Chudomir. (Producer is “Azhur Pico”) Since its premiere in November 2023, the show has already traveled around the country and met numerous viewers with the unique acting talent of Marius Kurkinski and the authentic Miracle stories. The performance during the festival will be his first in Gabrovo, and it is for him that the audience in the city will have the chance to enter the renovated building of the House of Culture for the first time.

On April 3, the forum continues with another nominated performance “Victoria” (“Askeer” 2023 nomination for text and for mono performance and “Ikar” 2023 nomination for text) by Yordan Slaveykov with the participation of Denitsa Darinova (realized by I am studio). The performance meets us with a woman whose fate confronts her with a series of trials, but along with them gives her the gift of love.

Later that evening, Vesela Babinova will present the Icarus 2024 award-nominated one-man show “Pistol in Tornado” by Lauren Gunderson, directed by Vasil Duev-Taig (Production of Break a Leg Production House). Insurance agent Angela is barricaded in her basement as she hides from the raging tornado, her only comfort and company is her sense of humor.

On April 4, the program offers the musical mono-performance “Billie Holiday” (realized by I am studio) about the life and work of the famous singer, presented by actress Yoanna Sirakova and musicians Svetoslav Milanov and Galen Nikolov. Along with the biographical narrative, presented simply but effectively, we will also hear seven of Billie Holiday’s most popular songs live.

“I’m happy” actor Nencho Ilchev will say in his biographical one-man show also on April 4. The production is by the Rodopian Drama Theater “Nikolay Haitov” and reveals significant biographical events from the life of our beloved actor and illusionist Nencho Ilchev, which brought him to where he is.

The following evening, April 5, we will see on stage the first international title for the edition of the festival, namely the Romanian one-man show “Iona” based on a text by Marin Sorescu. The performance is a production of the Municipal Theater “Anton Pan” – Ruminiku Valca (Romania) and examines the eternally relevant figure of the biblical character Jonah, who is swallowed by a whale. The performance will be presented with subtitles in Bulgarian.

The second performance of the evening is “The Hit of the Season” (Production of “Feather and Wind”), written and performed by Zdrava Kamenova. She takes on the role of the famous writer Ziva Kamenarska, who is faced with the greatest nightmare of creators – an approaching deadline and no creative ideas.

On April 6, it is the turn of the second international participation with the play “Goya”, presented by the famous Bosnian theater artist Zijah A. Sokolović, whose work is appreciated in all countries of the former Yugoslavia. The performance was created based on an open archival text of the important Croatian author Miroslav Krleža, considered the most important author of the last century in his country. Through his eyes, Goya is presented through his reflections on the socio-political system of the artist’s time and his personal experience as a court artist. The performance is a production of the twelfth edition of the festival dedicated to Miroslav Krleza in Zagreb. The performance will be presented with subtitles in Bulgarian.

Immediately after that, the last performance from the festival’s main program begins, namely “My God” by Teia Denolyubova, who has been nominated for writing the text for the “Icarus” award 2024. The one-man show is presented by Hristo Mutafchiev, performing the role of Judas, who turns out to be a patron in a bar. The production is by the Ivan Vazov National Theater. In addition, the show will be played in Dryanovo on April 4 and in Sevlievo on April 5, as a way to expand the scope of the festival and reach the audience from smaller towns.

The festival team has also thought about the youngest spectators and on April 6 has prepared “Soap Fantasy” – a performance by the “Male-Male” Puppet Theater, presented by Kole Kitanov. Without words, but with a lot of fantasy and soap bubbles, the show brings joy to young and old.

The last festival day on April 7 is dedicated to the parallel program of the festival, as well as the awarding of the awarded artists and performances, which will be held in the Red foyer of the Drama Theater from 17:00.

Later we will see “Zhelka” – a performance by Georgi Naldzhiev, built on the basis of the actor’s interviews with his grandmother in search of a recipe for happiness. She shares her most intimate and simple truths and observations about our lives, which her grandson then conveys from the stage in a simple and authentic way.

The last event of the day, which will be the festival finale of sorts, is an open rehearsal with actress Adriana Dimova and director Emil Yordanov. The meeting with the audience will be with free entry on a large stage in the Drama Theater.

For the first year, the festival will also welcome official guests from Romania and Serbia, who are invited with the idea of establishing professional contacts and opportunities for international exchange of experience and productions.

Tickets for all events go on sale from February 29 – online and at the theater box office. Tickets are priced at BGN 20 and BGN 25, for Nashenets BGN 35 and BGN 40. Students benefit from reduced prices on regular tickets.

The organizers of the festival have also provided an opportunity to purchase a card, thereby enjoying a significant discount on the ticket price. The festival card has been developed in two variants: with a price of BGN 150 for all 12 performances and a variant with a price of BGN 100 for 6 performances. For some of the titles it is possible to buy a family ticket. Discounts apply at the theater box office only.

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