Photographer: Kolyo Panamski

“His plays are satires; his province is humanity. He is determined to obliterate the boundaries (cultural and societal, at least) that separate East from West. After an apprenticeship in children’s literature, Stratiev found his metier. The Roman Bath was Stratiev’s first excursion into the world of Gogol and Mrozek. Like both satirists, Stratiev began with a premise: ‘What if a relic of antiquity – a Roman Bath – was discovered in the home of a contemporary Bulgarian? What would be the consequences?’ Of course the results would have to be laced with humor, not with the ferocious edge of a Swift or the laid-back political stance of a Mrozek, but with a deft social-political bite, where society-the individual is the victim…

Some writers have theatricalized the banality of life (Chekhov, Miller, and Chayevsky); some have glorified it (Gorky); and some, like Stratiev, have tried to break the saran-wrap that covers a host of decomposing social pillars.”

Edward J. Czerwinski. Slavic and East European Arts, Vol. 5, No. 1, Summer 1987

“His grim, invigorating humour naturally qualifies him as a satirist, as an analyst of contemporary social attitudes displayed both by strong and weak personalities. He relishes paradoxical situations, debunks redeeming features in the most intricate or absurd structure and, vice versa, pinpoints the absurdity lurking beneath the most trivial situation… In Stratiev’s early plays, the protagonist is often a young man trapped in a Beckettian, absurd situation. What seems at first plain and straightforward develops into a grotesque nightmare. The hero’s innocent, fragile, lyrical authenticity crumbles into ridicule. Social laughter proves a lethal weapon as the naive protagonist must conform, loses his individual original perception and eventually finds relief in becoming a non­person, a mere object.”

Nicole Vigouroux – Frey. Theatre Research International, Vol. 25, No. 2, Summer 2000

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