Directing in Latvia
Mrs. Benjamin. Tips for Modern Living.
A one-woman show with music and a stroll
Text devised and directed by Baņuta Rubess
Played by Indra Burkovska
Produced by the Support for Music and Art Fund
This is the rags-to-riches story of Emilija Benjamin (1881-1941), newspaper and magazine publisher, a fashion maven with a nose for bestselling authors. Together with her husband Antons Benjamin, she built an influential financial empire in Latvia, defying wars, revolutions and dictatorships, until she was deported by the Soviet regime and perished in Siberia.
Mrs. Benjamin.Tips for Modern Living is an immersive production, full of spontaneous twists and turns, involving the audience in conversations and turning them into servants, artists, and family friends.
Baņuta was invited to create the production for the Hotel Europea Royale, the former mansion of Mrs. Benjamin, working closely with the actress Indra Burkovska. Though the show opened in April 2009 at the Small Guild Hall in Old Riga, it was tailor-made for the hotel. When played on the premises, the roduction took place in in three separate rooms, and in three separate times – from a sterile conference room, to the bar, to a glittering reception at Mrs. Benjamin’s salon.
After a tour of Latvian chateaux, the show returned to the Hotel Europa Royale Later it toured to Germany, the United States and Australia.
A woman must never forget about her lingerie. Because you never know when you might have to undress.
Photogallery - MRS. BENJAMINS. TIPS FOR MODERN LIVING.
This eccentric collage says much more about one person’s destiny and the frailty of life than a large-scale chronological biographical portrait. Undine Adamaite, Diena, April 2009