In November, Tate Modern launches the largest retrospective ever held in the UK devoted to Dora Maar, the French photographer, painter, poet and muse to Pablo Picasso. Ahead of that, Aslant Theatre Company makes its debut with the premiere of Antonia Georgieva’s new Dora Maar-inspired play.
MUSE, written and directed by Aslant Theatre Company founder Antonia Georgieva, runs at Camden’s People’s Theatre from 22 to 24 August 2019 during Camden Fringe and then transfers to Tristan Bates Theatre from 19 to 23 November 2019 to coincide with the Tate Modern exhibition.
In a Parisian café, a young, raven-haired woman plays a dangerous game. The year is 1936. The fascist regimes that will soon lead to WWII and the unravelling of Europe are on the rise.
Based on the life of surrealist photographer Dora Maar and her relationship with Pablo Picasso, Aslant Theatre Company’s debut production MUSE explores the inherent violence of the relationship between artist and muse.
“I was your weeping woman. You took my tears, my pain, my sanity, my art, and put them in your painting. Have them — they are yours. You can’t erase them now… My tears will haunt your canvas forever. But I won’t weep for you anymore”
MUSE takes the audience on a surreal journey through time, colours, tears, and fragments. The production asks: what is the price to pay for a place in the long halls of art history as Picasso’s “Weeping Woman”.
In MUSE, Denitza Zafirova plays Dora Maar with Jahmai Maasai as Picasso alongside Sarah Kentish (as Marie-Therese Walter/Francoise Gilot), Harry Kingscott (as Paul Eluard), Claire-Monique Martin (as Nusch Eluard) and Zoe Lambrakis (as Lisa Deharme).
Writer-director Antonia Georgieva employs the poetic form to explore the untold side of the story. Her eclectic direction combines elements of devising and original music composed by Timna Lugstein with the existing script to create the surreal world of reflections and distortions. The production has set and costumes by Cara Evans, with movement by Mandy Gordon and assistant direction by Josephine Czarnecki.
Dora Maar at Tate Modern
During the 1930s, Dora Maar’s provocative photomontages became celebrated icons of surrealism. Her eye for the unusual also translated to her commercial photography, including fashion and advertising, as well as to her social documentary projects. In Europe’s increasingly fraught political climate, Maar signed her name to numerous left-wing manifestos – a radical gesture for a woman at that time.
Her relationship with Pablo Picasso had a profound effect on both their careers. She documented the creation of his most political work, Guernica 1937. He immortalised her as Weeping Woman 1937. Together they made a series of portraits combining experimental photographic and printmaking techniques.
Tate Modern’s Dora Maar exhibition explores this and the full breadth of Maar’s long career in the context of work by her contemporaries. It runs from 20 November 2019 to 15 March 2020.
About Aslant Theatre
Aslant Theatre Company (ATC) is a new female-led theatre collective that produces new works and imaginative interpretations of the classical repertoire. The company’s slogan – “Re-tell and re-member” – indicates our goal of revisiting the past. We are conscious of who gets to speak and tell stories, especially in literature or on stage, and we aim to give a voice to those who are or have been historically “aslant.” We are asking ourselves how can we flip the dominant narrative, tell the untold stories of the past, examine the overlooked points of view, and retell the classics in a different way.
About Antonia Georgieva
Antonia Georgieva is a director and playwright with a particular interest in directing new work as well as adaptations and site-specific work. She began her training as a director during her BA at Columbia University and is currently completing her MFA at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She has worked on a variety of productions for both theatrical and non-theatrical spaces involving a wide range of production sizes — from directing one-woman shows to heading a site-specific production of Hamlet with a cast and team of 80 people. As the founder of a new female-led collective Aslant Theatre Company, she has a keen artistic interest in reimagining the classical canon and challenging the way we remember history.
As part of this year’s Camden Fringe, MUSE runs from 22 to 25 August 2019 at Camden People’s Theatre, 58-60 Hampstead Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2PY with performances at 7.15pm except 25 August at 5.30pm. Tickets are priced £12. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Full festival programme
For details on all 300+ shows in the 2019 Camden Fringe programme, visit the festival websiteClick here