Mikhail Tumanishvili knows what war is, about the loss of loved ones and the changes in friends. But he also knows the strength of love, and the durability of friendship. And he also knows all the secrets of his profession. “All" isn’t quite right, because a real artist discovers some new secret every day, and these openings go on without end.
Mikhail Tumanishvili’s shows can be seen as a wellspring of revelations. One revelation can be extracted from “Chingraki,” another from “Antigone,” and from “Our Town” or “Don Juan” a third. And all of these real theatrical revelations are the result of contributions by directors and actors at the highest level of art. The high level of mastery is obvious – it has no need of clarification, because Tumanishvili’s shows can be understood in Russia, Spain, England, America – I can’t keep listing the countries where his shows have performed! But I will honestly say: it doesn’t seem any less important to me that the creator of these shows doesn’t strive to show his art to all the world. He’s afraid of airplanes, he doesn’t like leaving home to go anywhere, and sees unnecessary disruptions in the fundamentals of his life and work in any forced trip. He seems to me to be one of the only directors I know who doesn’t try whatsoever either to direct abroad or somehow make “contacts.” Happily, one day Peter Brook came to Georgia and quickly understood who in Tbilisi he was interested in talking with, and with whom it was worth making that “contact.”
I’m proud of the fact that for more than 30 years, I’ve called Mikhail Tumanishvili “Misha,” and of the fact that I know he’ll share with me both sorrow and happiness.