Valters Sīlis (LV)
The play – a rare and striking example of contemporary political theatre that tackles the turmoil of history by stepping outside the realm of narrative and denunciation – is based on a real event.
In 1945, one hundred and sixty-seven Baltic legionnaires were the subject of a dispute between Sweden and the Soviet Union, when the latter requested their extradition to the Stockholm parliament, in order to judge them (and send them to death) for their relationship, in most cases forced, with the Nazi army.
Leģionāri is constructed as a discussion, in which two young people debate, in different languages, this historical fact, which is also conjugated to the present and given back to the spectators, inviting them to take their own position, and generating a reflection on the hurt feelings, betrayals and offences of which human history is made, finally opening up the eternal dilemma between the freedom of individuals and the freedom of society.
An example of post-dramatic theatre, the show asks what really happened, why, and whether it could happen differently today.
In English with episodes in Latvian, Swedish, Finnish and German.
Dramaturgy Carl Alm, Ieva Kauliņa, Kārlis Krūmiņš, Valters Sīlis direction Valters Sīlis with Carl Alm, Kārlis Krūmiņš scenography Ieva Kauliņa lights Jānis Sniķers, Māra Jarovoja
Valters Sīlis (1985) Latvian actor and director, graduated in directing from the Latvian Academy of Culture in 2012 and works both in small independent theatres (Dirty Deal Theatre, Theatre Ģertrūdes ielas teātris) and at the National Theatre in Riga, establishing himself as one of the most promising directors of his generation. Leģionāri is created together with the actors Carl Alm and Kārlis Krūmiņš, who are to all intents and purposes co-authors of the show.