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Montblanc & Salzburg Festival Young Directors Award 2014 goes to Nicolas Charaux (31)

21 AUG 2014

published in: Drama, General

Montblanc & Salzburg Festival Young Directors Award 2014 • Nicolas Charaux © Franziska Krug
One could hum: say a quiet Servus when you leave or in German: everything has an end, only sausages have two.
Dear survivors, dear pen owners, dear theatre people from 52 productions from 22 countries over 12 years. Dear audiences of the Young Directors Project from near and far, now it’s all over and the honour falls to me to say a quiet Servus when we leave and to announce the verdict of the final jury.
This year’s jury was made up of Julia Gschnitzer, Helga Rabl-Stadler, Georg Schmiedleitner, Thaddaeus Ropac and myself. Many thanks for your observations and your precise analysis. Special thanks to the President Helga Rabl-Stadler and to Thaddaeus Ropac, who took part every year. They have been through a lot of meetings and a lot of differences of opinion, discussions which were useful and not so useful. I take my hat off to you.
But: to the here and now. There was particular praise amongst our jury for the efforts of the Mozarteum students from the Thomas Bernhard Institut, for the imagination and hard work they brought to their fine theatrical expression of the great European catastrophe of 1914.  Everyone who was able to see the scene ‘Karl Aicher’ was very impressed with the precision of the acting and speaking. There was no one directorial idea covering both concept and style or an overall narrative arc. But there couldn’t be one because this was not the point of such an expansive project.
The first thing we saw was a discovery. Toller’s Hinkemann.  Putting Toller on stage again, such an important author, one who caused such a furore and commotion with the Munich Soviet Republic and who conquered stages all over Europe as the model for Dorst’s play Toller. All this is worth honouring and enormously important. It was well and coherently directed with fine, talented actors. A terrific play which one wishes to see performed many times again, including in Düsseldorf.
We really did laugh and cheer at the company from London – at Orpheus and his quirky Euridyce.  At the very English way they took the Earl Grey out of this myth. And all in the great tradition of music hall or Joan Littlewood. This was great fun, a real pleasure with very talented actors who are also fantastically gifted musicians.
It reminds me of a story about Curt Bois and Fritz Kortner, but I’m going to keep that to myself.  And finally we talked about Der Abschied. Which is a good title for a finale. We saw a great actor, Paul Herwig, who threw himself into this new text by Walter Kappacher with verve and a certain amount of disregard for his own safety. Even those who did not know Trakl could see this desperate soul illuminated as if it had been displayed on a wall with a projector. We saw a wonderful set, which did much more than define the limits of the stage. It was no surprise that gallery owner extraordinaire Thaddaeus Ropac made special mention of this “sculpture” as he called it. If we had a Young Designers Project, Pia Greven would certainly have deserved this honour. The modifications which this set underwent in the course of the evening as a result of murderous blows with an axe was one of director Nicolas Charaux’s great ideas. He constructed a thick net for Trakl’s tortured soul to writhe inside.
We chose this group and their director – and we wish him and all his colleagues success as they head along the stony path which leads through the German theatres.  Congratulations!
The MONTBLANC YOUNG DIRECTORS AWARD carries a cash value of € 10,000 and also includes the Montblanc Max Reinhardt Pen designed exclusively for this occasion. 

For the Jury

Helga Rabl-Stadler          Thaddaeus Ropac         

Julia Gschnitzer        Jürgen Flimm      Georg Schmiedleitner