Divadelná Nitra will tell about the last people, who live in Chernobyl, on it’s stages

08.09.2017 10:09

The visit to the Chernobyl zone has become a tourist attraction. But beyond the tourist footpaths, there is a real story of the elderly married couple, who has been living in isolation from civilization for thirty years already, surrounded by ubiquitous radiation, in a non-existent village, where they were both born and which they haven‘t left even after the nuclear disaster. This almost unbelievable story will be presented in the main programme of Divadelná Nitra by the production ZVIZDAL [Chernobyl so far, so close] produced by the Belgian company BERLIN. 

The International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra 2017, which will be held during September 22 – 26, will enter its 26th edition with the theme #FUNDAMENTALS. The main attention will be paid to the core values of the human life and society. 

Visiting Petro and Nadia

Among the tens of thousands of indigenous population, nearly a hundred villages and cities hit by the Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion, only a few people refused evacuation. When the Belgian company BERLIN has heard about two people, who remained the only one living in the native village Zvizdal, they decided to disclose their story in the theatre.

For five years they have been visiting Petro and Nadia in the area contaminated by radiation, in the village, that is no longer visible on the map, to find out how these people live and work in the environment,where time seems to have stopped in 1986. During every season, they were monitoring a couple, who, instead of escaping from the ecological disaster, decided to stay, where they both were born, their ancestors lived, where their land and animals are. Where their home is, with or without radiation.

In the heart of nature, in the isolation

But how can man survive during the years of isolation? In the heart of nature, surrounded by fields and several animals, cut off from the world, without electricity, drinking water and telephone signal, with the pervasive superstition, vodka, toothache, aging-associated diseases and a 20-kilometer journey to the nearest shop.

After five years of visits producers from the BERLIN company brought to light a unique portrait of a married couple, who stubbornly faced the invisible danger for three decades.


"Instead of a cheap sensation, the production offers a touching story about people with unbreakable will and a strong relationship towards home, for whom the life didn’t come to the end with the apocalypse," says Ján Balaj, a member of the Artistic Board of Divadelná Nitra Festival.

"Zvizdal is a portrait of loneliness, survival, poverty, hope and love between two 80-year-olds, surrounded by colourless, scentless, but ubiquitous radiation," explain creators Bart Baele and Yves Degrys.

Completely different world

"Whenever we came back from Chernobyl, we needed a few days to pull ourselves together. It's a completely different world. We have never experienced anything so intense before. We have also emotionally lived the lives of Nadia and Peter through. As if we had entered their lives and then left for a couple of hours," disclose authors.

"Their social reflexes were, naturally, completely different due to the isolation, they lived in for 27 years. For example, they did not even realize that we came there because of them, we booked a flight for this purpose. Once we came in the winter and in ten minutes they told us to come in the spring,” says the Belgian duo. "We have seen a lot of turmoil these years. If the animal died, it caused a great deviation from the norm in their life. In the beginning, our interviews were still about their reason of staying there. As time goes on, we went deeper and talked, for example, about death and fear of it. Winters are so cruel here, that every time we went to visit them, we worried, that we wouldn’t find them alive,” explained Bart Baele and Yves Degrys.

Extraordinary story, extraordinary stage form

In addition to an extraordinary story, the stage form is also remarkable, it connects a theatre and a film. The audience sits on the both sides of the screen, documentary film on the screen is accompanied by vivid shots of authentic miniatures of this Ukrainian homestead at various seasons.The GoPro-style camera whirrs up in the silence. "What a striking contrast: today’s state-of-the-art visual culture comes face to face with the primeval forces of weed-infested nature and a raw survival instinct," is written in the review in the Flemish newspaper De Standaard.

The production Zvizdal [Chernobyl so far, so close] is a part of the [# 6] spectacular project of exploring the world of the Belgian company BERLIN called Holocene. At Divadelná Nitra it will also become a part of the educational project How to Understand Theatre.

Key words: #home #roots #nature #love #life #environment.

Tickets are on sale!

The main festival programme during the 5-day theatre event will offer 10 productions, 14 performances of intriguing artists from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, the United States of America, Slovenia and Slovakia.


Tickets are already on sale. You may purchase tickets online at http://www.predpredaj.sk in the section Theatre.  Divadelná Nitra Box Office is opened from the August 21, 2017 in the Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra, main entrance hall (access from the Svätoplukovo Square). Working hours: Mon - Fri 14:00 – 17:00.

In addition to this, you can also buy at the same portal a Festival T-SHIRT with one chosen key word.

The main festival programme is available HERE

All info about tickets HERE

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