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The Overcoat

November, 21st & 22nd at 7pm

An interpretation of CREDO TTHEATRE after GOGOL ‘ s novel

Idea, script, design, stage version and directing:


A story in an act, both funny and sad, with a fantastic beginning and an
unexpecting ending about a ghost, a clerk and an overcoat.

A story in which an overcoat-trap comes to life, trapping an entire human life. The life of an ordinary clerk who died at the loss of his overcoat and after his death started roaming the streets of Peterburg as a ghost. A ghost stripping the overcoats off the shoulders of everybody.

A story about the freedom of the human spirit, refusing to be buttoned up into any overcoat.



[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-hzubv3jo8″]

( Bulgaria )

Credo Theatre is an independent theatre founded in 1992 in Sofia by actors Nina Dimitrova and Vassil Vassilev – Zuek, graduates of the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts – NATFIZ.

Credo is a theatre of the diverse artistic means of expression.

Combining language from drama, clowning, commedia dell’arte, puppetry and pantomime the company seeks unexpected, expressive theatrical expression to communicate with the audience. With Credo the viewer is an equal partner in the performance. And to ensure this partnership is truly mutual, the company always performs in the language of the country they are touring, investing time and care in adapting the versions to the various languages. The set is an equally important participant in Credo’s productions which is constantly transformed on stage by the actors to create the ultimate imagery of the performance.

Credo Theatre opened its first theatre season with the production of  “THE OVERCOAT” after GOGOL which brought the company national and international acclaim – оver 500 performances presented at over 150 international festivals all over the world. The Overcoat” grew into nine different versions in nine different languages (Bulgarian, English, French, Spanish, German, Russia, Serbian, Greeк, Japanese). “The Overcoat” was listed by “The List” magazine in the “Top 20″ Best Art Events of the Edinburgh Festival, UK in 1997 and by the “Guardian” newspaper among the five best performances in London when in 2000 the production was presented at the Barbican Centre. With its “Overcoat” Theatre Credo was the first international guest of the “Golden Mask” Festival in Moscow (Russia) in 1997 and the first Bulgarian Theatrе in the program of many international festivals all over the world like MESS festival – Sarajevo,(Bosnia), Seoul Performing Ars Festival- Soul (South Korea), Aarhus festival – Aarhus ( Denmark ),Galway Arts Festival – Galway (Ireland), LIFE festival–Vilnius (Lithuania), Baltic house festival –St. Petersburg (Russia), Tampere Festival – Tampere (Finland), Okinawa Festival – Okinawa (Japan), Kontakt Festival – Torun (Poland), Academia festival – Omsk (Russia), Osaka festival – Osaka (Japan), Slavia Festival – Belgrade (Serbia), Sitges Festival – Sitges (Spane), Minifest – Rostov na Don (Russia), Sibiu Festival – Sibiu (Romaia), Yokohama Festival –Yokohama (Japan), International Theatre Festival – Teheran (Iran) , Mittelfest – Italy, etc.

The different versions of “The Overcoat” are recipients of 14 international awards. The Russian critics wrote that “the great success of “The Overcoat” in Gogol`s country is possibly the highest award for the production” and announced it as “an outstanding event in European theatre of the second half of the XX century!”

The last production of Credo Theatre, “Daddy`s always right “after Andersen , was created by invitation of and  supported by the Hans Christian Andersen foundation 2005  (Denmark) and was a part of the international programme for the worldwide celebration of the 200th anniversary of Andersen’s birth in Denmark (2005). Тrue to its credo to diversify its productions, Credo Theatre developed “Daddy`s always right” into three different version in three different languages (Bulgarian, English, Russian). Up to now the production was presented in over 20 international festivals in Bulgaria and abroad and its three different versions are recipients of seven international awards.

In 2008 The Union of Bulgarian Artists awarded Credo Theatre with the Best National Theatre Award “IKAR” for its contribution to popularizing Bulgarian theatre and culture all over the world.

In 2009 Credo Theatre is nominated for the European theatre award “New Theatre Reality”.


Press about show:

The magic of Credo is simply the result of their genius. They are geniuses, absolute geniuses. In my experience spanning 50 Edinburgh Festivals and hundreds of performances that I have selected, they are one of the top ten artistic events that I have ever seen. They present to us the work of a Russian genius refracted through a Bulgarian prism and thus making it so much more interesting. After watching their production, one gains a completely new concept of theatre. The audience is totally drawn into the performance. The two Credo actors have an uncanny sensitivity for human suffering, a deep compassion, and I do not believe we can find an equivalent of their theatre in Great Britain.

Richard Demarco, Edinburgh Festival, for BBC- London, 1997

If a person wants to see an Eastern European theatre which reflects the current period in history, if 50 years in the future we wanted to know what it was like now, in our times, Credo’s production, if it could be encapsulated, would tell all about us – about theatre, human interrelations, our whole age. They make "magic" on stage - out of next to nothing at all. An incredible blend of genius which overcomes resourcefully the mishaps of lack of means and sets. Their production speaks so much of the human spirit, of its warmth and depth.

Terry Sandel, Director of Visiting Arts (UK) for BBC – London, 1997

A performance of truly international standard.

Credo's version of "The Overcoat" makes new and moving sense out of Gogol's dark fable about personal identity and freedom.

“The Scotsman”(UK), 1996

One of the most amazing theatrical events in Edinburgh Festival. Hilariously funny, completely charming, heart-renderingly tragic, every aspect of this production has a superlative attached to it. And there are as many aspects as the human mind can visualise

“The Scotsman”(UK), 1997

Witty and inventive. A fine example of the imaginative power of theatre.

“The Herald”(UK), 1996

Stunning is the only word.

”The Stage” (UK), 1997

“Top 20” of the best art events of Edinburgh Festival 1997

An unexpected hit from Bulgaria's Credo Theatre.An exquisite dream-like version of Gogol's famous tale. This extraordinary company, with a few seemingly insignificant props, create a magical world of imprisonment, misery, despair, freedom and joy. The captivated audience is effortlessly drawn into Gogol's world of ironic whimsy through some superb acting.

There is no excuse not to see this one.

”The List” (UK), 1997

A pair of superb young actor - clowns from Bulgaria presented a version of Gogol's Overcoat so simple, driven by such a fierce desire to communicate with the audience, that the burning sense of common humanity it generated almost stripped the paint from the cellar walls.

“Scotland on Sunday”( UK), 1996

There is mime but “The Overcoat” is not mime. They make you smile, but it is not comedy. They act like clowns, but it is not a circus. Since it is all these things at once, it must be an unusually pure form of theatre.

“The Independent” (UK), 2000

A delicate and enchanting version of Gogol’s sad story of human identity and freedom.

“Guardian” (UK), 2000

A virtuoso improvisation of Gogol’s plot, as exact as clockwork, that takes part on the inside and outside of a cage. A rarely achieved theatrical efficiency. A truth recreated with spontaneity and minimalism. Saintly, yet naive, honest, kindhearted, a lithe play of inner freedom, as necessary as air, but as transient as the coat. With real lightness, as if cracking their fingers or just mischievously winking, the two actors tell more of the drama of human existence than can be found in hundreds of tomes, or in hundred-hour long elaborate productions. A wooden cage, a few sheets of plywood, two brilliant actors – that is the whole “mechanism” of the miracle of "The Overcoat"

”Litovsko Eho” (Lithuania), 1997