The Elementary Particles

Ivan Vazov National Theatre

21 April 2024

The latest premiere of the Theatre + programme of Ivan Vazov National Theatre takes place on 21 April in the Chamber Hall. After directing “Pieces of a Woman” by Kata Weber as part of the programme, the director Chris Sharkov has taken on the challenge of putting on stage Michel Houellebecq’s “The Elementary Particles”.

The novel, which made Houellebecq renowned across the world, reveals the problems of the modern European society in a provocative, bold, arrogant, and even offensive manner. It speaks of love in a time of hypertechnology through the engaging stories of two brothers - a teacher and a successful biologist. Questions are posed with brazen audacity but with an idealised view of the future of humanity.

Translating a novel of such importance for the understanding of our present time to the stage language is a challenge. The team’s approach is ironic and paradoxically lyrical, matching Houellebecq’s own style. Doomed to live, man is quick to cut his ties to the past, and is yet to learn how to recognize the sounds of the future.

The production is a social anti-utopia, which poses the question of whether man can preserve his ability to love in a dehumanising world. The answer is sought by travelling backwards and forwards through time.

About Chris Sharkov

Chris Sharkov is a Bulgarian director. He has created productions at the stages of many theatres in the country, including Drama Theatre Varna, Sofia Theatre, Drama Theatre Plovdiv, Sfumato Theatre-Laboratory, Drama & Puppet Theatre Pleven, Little City Theatre Off the Chanel Sofia, Ivan Dimov Theatre in Haskovo, Azaryan Theatre Sofia, Drama Theatre Lovech and at the Regional Center for Contemporary Arts Toplocentrala.

Among his more recent works are: “Do You Swear On The Kids?” by Salome Lelouch, “Tartuffe” after “Don Juan Comes Back From The War” by Duncan Macmilan after Ödön von Horváth, “Unbearably Long Embraces” by Ivan Vyrypaev, “At The Foot Of Vitosha” by Peyo Yavorov, “Pieces Of A Woman” by Kata Weber, “Lulu” by Frank Wedekind, “Strindberg Gallery” after August Strindberg, “Demons” by Lars Noren, “Serotonin” after the novel by Michel Houellebecq, “Scenes From A Marriage” by Ingmar Bergman.

He was nominated for the ASKEER award for best directing in 2023 and has six nominations for the national award of the Union of Bulgarian Artists ICARUS in the categories for best directing, best performance and for a debut in 2012. He is sharing the award Plovdiv 2018 for achievements in the field of culture.

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Photo: (c) Stefan Zdraveski

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