Our contemporary stage doesn’t know another theatrical professional whose stagings would amalgamate at the same time so much humanity, loneliness, sorrow, and enlightenment.

“The Lone Man” is the title of one of Marius Kurkinski’s one-man show hits on texts by Andrei Platonov from the late 1990s. This staging brought him the recognition of the guild and the first Askeer award in his career. And the Lone Man moniker, too. A lot of things happened since. Marius completed a heap of other projects and is long since not 30 anymore but 41. Nonetheless, his friends keep calling him The Lone Man. Because our contemporary stage doesn’t know another theatrical professional whose stagings would amalgamate at the same time so much humanity, loneliness, sorrow, and enlightenment.
Many reproach to Kurkinski posing and deliberateness. Others believe he’s an artistic fool who just looks for self-publicity.
The actor, however, is pretty far from that. He’s trying to escape completely from vanity and to immerse himself into the different reality – the one of the stage. Kurkinski even went so far that the stage became the only place where he’s himself and doesn’t play the role of somebody else. “Speaking of throwing down some mask totally and seeking someone’s soul, for me, this happens in the theatre. The hours spent on stage are purification. I’m sorry that it sounds so conceited. But for me, Theatre is a big sifting,” confesses the director.

Outside Melpomene’s temple, Marius remains apprehensive and is rarely flashing.
He’s walking fast, his sight lowered, and it’s as if he strives purposely to blend with the crowd. Yet sometimes he looks diverted, his sight wandering in space as if he were mulling the scourges of the entire world. Kurkinski wouldn’t attempt defining his true Ego. “My every deed – that’s me. To me, there’s no boundary between the stage and whatever is outside it. I am all the same. A person is not double but million-faced. Let’s say that I’m trying to collect myself again in one entity, to refocus myself,” reasons the Bulgarian theatre’s phenomenon. When digging into the comprehension of life, Kurkinski is prone to reaching extremes. “Maybe I’m living a poisoned life. Maybe I missed being a normal human. Maybe, if I wasn’t tempted by art, I’d have lived the love that I want truly, not just on stage… It sounds banal but out of the stage I can’t discover the person who’s autonomous, pure, individual, and free from theatre. The theatre remains a huge island – a place where you should stay silent and just perceive the other. In theatre, you must bring yourself down slightly, repudiate, and just sense. There’s a deficit of such places where information is available, but nobody pushes you to get quickly a response to your personal selfishness,” says often Kurkinski. To him, standing on stage is a commentary of the Genesis, because

“Тhe theatre imitates the Genesis”. This season, Marius is tuned to studying the national frame of mind. With the company of the Small Urban Theatre “Beyond the Channel”, he staged Balkan Syndrome, based upon the excellent piece of the great Bulgarian writer Stanislav Stratiev. In parallel, he kept being a “one-man band” – with his eighth one-man show, Bulgarian Stories, based upon the tales of one of the best Bulgarian children’s writers, Angel Karaliychev.
The focus of the first performance is upon the famous Balkan uniqueness complex. “And this boastfulness about ours being the best – our nature is always the most beautiful in the world, our folklore has the most mystique, our women are the prettiest, and the men – the most virile. I’m wondering where from does that desire of uniqueness come in a nation that, by the way, has been liberated quite a few times – how is it asking for such a vain global influence? And while our longing for uniqueness exists, we wouldn’t miss repeating in the mean time that we’re the worst as personalities and characters. It’s precisely that bipolar perception and hesitation that affects me a lot in Stanislav Stratiev’s piece. The Balkan syndrome is the self-destruction, our irony towards everything.

Out of so much derision, we’re ridiculing our life, too.
This, in turn, is what leads us to genuine self-destruction, to disrespect of ourselves, our kin, people around,” believes Kurkinski. The actor has dedicated other performance to his ancestors – for having provided him a fabulous childhood. “My childhood was a fairy tale, a true paradise. I was spending the school year in Varna, where my mother and my father were doing their utmost to protect me from the horror of society and school. My parents were sending me for the summer to an endless vacation with my grandma and grandpa in the village of Branichevo. There, it was my meeting with happiness as a whole!” confesses Marius in one of his latest interviews.

Except in the theatre and before journalists, Marius is putting his comments on the white sheet as well. He’s keeping a diary but is not showing it for now. Few are aware that he’s also experimenting in the domain of dramaturgy. A year back, he admitted having written two pieces. “Chaotic, of this kind of pieces about which one would think having written a piece, although there’s nothing special. Belching internal information into characters with no connection at all – everybody’s good at that. I’d like to write a piece that has a subject. And to express myself through the subject,” avows Marius.

Both of his unsuccessful playwright attempts are on love themes. The author states that they’re scandalous but not of the kind of History of the Eye. “They’re scandalous as a confession. And this is why I’ll never show them. I don’t like relying exclusively on personal confession in my work. It should be general, because we’re making theatre for all, not only for ourselves. With your pieces, you leave a message in the future tense,” says Marius.

Born in Novi Pazar in 1969.
His actual name is Ivaylo Stoyanov.
Kurkinski is the surname of his family. The future actor’s grandma, Maria, insisted that her grandson be christened Marius.
He was overwhelmed by the idea of changing his name when he staged his first one-man show, Don Juan. Back then, his colleague Stefan Valdobrev augured to him that he’d enjoy a great success under his new name.
He graduated from the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts (VITIZ) in the class of Prof. Krikor Azaryan.
His one-man shows are Don Juan, The Lady with the Puppy, The Canticle of Canticles, The Gospel of Matthew, The Lone Man, The Dream, Commotion, and Bulgarian Stories
Elena Krasteva

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