After a highly successful run last year, the fascinating one-man show “Granny, Iliko, Illarion, and I”, based on Nodar Dumbadze’s first novel, is coming back to London this May with Front Row Productions. We’ve got a snippet of the story for you and a comment from the award-winning lead, Georgiy Iobadze.

 

 

“Granny, Iliko, Illarion, and I” is a lyrical comedy about life in a beautiful Georgian village, where a mischievous boy called Zuriko lives. He is not at all studious, but this does not prevent him from being an excitable and sensitive soul, bringing you amusing anecdotes and tales of sorrow. This is a coming-of-age story about a boy living without his parents, instead being raised by his grandmother and elderly neighbours, Iliko and Illarion.

Georgiy Iobadze creates for the audience some bold characters and paints vibrant scenes of life in a Georgian village, sharing the lives of simple people faced with difficult times.

 

 

Lead actor Georgiy Iobadze, a MHAT and Theatre of Nations artiste, has a unique way of drawing the audience in through dance and mime. He is also the director and choreographer of the show, and has selected Georgian folk music to immerse you in the world of “Granny, Iliko, Illarion, and I”. This show has been awarded several Grand Prix at international festivals, while Georgiy received the “Best Act” award at MONOfest in 2018. We spoke to him about the performance:

Georgiy, it’s the second time you are staging the show in London, but it has also been promoted by Front Row Productions in Cyprus and Dubai. How do you feel that performing in different spaces shapes the storytelling?

“I really like to embed myself in the energy of a city before every performance, walking and improvising along the way, exchanging glances with locals. Their reactions and mannerisms inspire my retelling of the story and shape the mood of the performance as I interact with the audience. This practice also keeps it exciting for me, so that the show feels alive and ever-transforming with something new appearing in every city”.

“Also, I have to say that it’s all thanks to Anastasia Norris from Front Row Productions – she saw my show in Moscow and thought it was just right for the London Eastern European diaspora, something full of soul and nostalgia, and she ensured that it was sold out.  I’m really excited to be back here again thanks to her”.

 

 

We can’t wait to see what will make it into these new performances! You manage to create such an engaging atmosphere and it feels like the room is full with nature and people; do you draw on your own childhood for inspiration?

“Yes, I grew up in Georgia, so it feels really natural to paint these images for the audience, like speaking to friends over a meal, sharing my memories. Some of the characters even took on phrases that I would hear as a child. My family are also still involved in how I rehearse work, and that helps it evolve. I’m looking forward to interpreting the story for a new audience this time”.

We are looking forward to seeing it! 

And if you want to join us, tickets are now available to book:

on the 18 May at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). Please note the show is in Russian.