Alvis Hermanis

The Sound of Silence

16 - 19 December 2010
Main Stage
2h 50min (20min intermission)
The award-winning Latvian director experiments with a silent production which transcends the limits speech imposes on expression. Using a room in a post-Soviet society as his core narrational unit, he explores the concept of utopia through a range of motifs and Simon & Garfunkel’s music.
25 - 28 - 52 € | Concs 18 €
An award-winning performance
Best Performance of the fall 2007/08 (Annual Show of the Theatre Performances in Latvia)
Grand Prix, International Theatre Festival KONTAKT, Poland 2008
The Press Award awarded by journalists of International Theatre Festival KONTAKT, Poland 2008

Download the programme and the poster in .pdf file

This is the not the first time the award-winning Latvian director, Alvis Hermanis, has experimented with a silent production which transcends the limits speech imposes on expression. Prior to The Sound of Silence (2007), the director created Long Life (2003), a production which unfolded inside a room in a commune of run-down old people in a shaky post-Soviet republic.
The room is the core narrational unit of this second production, too, its unitary space the only element linking the fragmented actions and an entirely open concept of time. For the director, the heroes of both productions are the same people forty years apart. And while decline was the focus of the first production, the subject-matter of the second is utopia. In essence, the work is a study of 1968, the annus mirabilis—viewed through the prism of the Eastern Bloc—of western utopia. This is underlined, too, in the production’s ironic subtitle: “a concert of Simon & Garfunkel 1968 in Riga that never took place”.
The sequence of images engage with the music in a sort of silent on-stage karaoke which creates a theatre of characters that lies somewhere between naturalistic theatre, vaudeville and the Marx Brothers. Youth and utopia are omnipresent, as are the erotic impulse set against the backdrop of sexual liberation, the contrast between emotion and knowledge, conformism and revolution. Numerous motifs run through the production: the kiss, reading, sleep, metamorphosis and—above all—the music of Simon and Garfunkel. The production consciously favours the direct, recognisable image in honour of the light-weight utopia of ’68, though it does so without concealing its nostalgia for an era which, viewed from the present, looks like a golden age.


Director: Alvis Hermanis
Music: Simon and Garfunkel
Set and Costume Designer: Monika Pormale
Photographer: Māra Brašmane
Cast: Guna Zariņa, Sandra Zvīgule, Inga Alsiņa, Liena Šmukste, Iveta Pole, Regīna Razuma, Jana Čivžele, Gatis Gāga, Kaspars Znotiņš, Edgars Samītis, Ivars Krasts, Varis Piņkis, Andris Keišs, Girts Krūmiņš
Co-production: spieltzeit' Europa/Berliner Festspiele and New Riga Theatre
Fragments from the film Self-Portrait, shot in Riga, 1972, by Andris Grinbergs.

17 Dec 2010

23:30 Main Stage


After-performance talk with Alvis Hermanis


28 Dec 2010 - 2 Jan 2011

20:30 Main Stage
10 - 15 - 20 €
Concs 5 - 7 €


Victoria Chaplin & Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée Le cirque invisible