Lake of Hope

Wednesday, May 25 18.30
New Riga Theatre, Lāčplēša Street 25
Duration: 3h20min
In Russian with English translation

Author, director, set designer Vladislavs Nastavševs
Composer Toms Auniņš
Co-authors and performers: Guna Zariņa, Intars Rešetins, Andris Keišs, Vilis Daudziņš, Kaspars Znotiņš, Inga Alsiņa-Lasmane, Edgars Samītis
Producer: The New Riga Theatre (
Premiere on June 5, 2015

The main source of inspiration for this production is the refurbishment of Nastavševs’ flat in the apartment block at Imanta neighbourhood, one of the so called “sleeping districts” of Riga. Director has lived there all his life together with his mother Nadjezda (translates from Russian as ‘hope’). Lasting renovation process builds tension between the two and reveals complex relationships between the past and the present, the normality and the marginality, the centre and the periphery, two generations, two ethnic communities. The turmoil ends with a delicate moment of reconciliation and forgiveness. The parallel narrative of “Lake of Hope” unfolds the nature of theatre, inviting audience to witness the process of staging.

Vladislavs Nastavševs (b. 1980) announced himself on the Latvian theatre stage in 2012, vividly and unexpectedly, after returning from studying acting and direction in Saint Petersburg and at Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts and Design in London. Seemingly quickly and organically he found his place among the so-called New Wave of Latvian directors (Valters Sīlis, Elmārs Seņkovs, Viesturs Meikšāns to name a few). However, it was more his age that identified him with this group, since his style bore its own signature. It is determined by his personality and the artistic capacity to transform humour, melancholy, the tiniest details of the everyday into existential experience and the ability to see a show as an integrated work of art in which performers, space, design, words, objects, sound, light and all that can break into the universe of the performance from the outside world play an equal role from the very start. Nastavševs’ debut in Latvian theatre introduced a new relationship between the linguistic and the visual form of the performance. This tension became the dominant force in his work and a challenge to the traditional Latvian approach to staging. Nastavševs brings carefully selective, detail-conscious, radically laconic aesthetics back to the performance. By minimal yet effective tools the artist transforms empty stages into imaginary rooms, playfully overcoming any obstacles which would inhibit the process of thought or imagination and spatial perception, activating, along with audial senses, the viewer’s sight, tactility, their bodies and instincts.