The Great Journey, 2018

The Great Journey

My dear friends of the theatre,
the repertoire that we have chosen for this 25th season of our very dear Festival will show you nothing less than a comprehensive overview of contemporary theatre condensed in a small box. Even more ambitious is our fantasy to use eight plays to take you on a journey – either at the speed of light or very slowly – through the stage magic of the theatre, from its very beginnings to the actors, those eternal travellers through space and time who will be just a step away from you in a theatre box on Sušak and who you will be able to touch. Or, perhaps it would only seem that way. We will guide you through the poetic styles of past decades that haven’t changed from the very beginning of time. They will present – from the “Wild Duck” to the “Gypsy, Yet So Handsome” – both accentuated expression and dense realism; both irony by Strindberg and distorted reality – which is precisely the world we are all enchanted with: so close, yet so far away from reality. Our plays come from all over Europe: from Austria to Russia, from Slovenia to Serbia and back to Croatia; they very seriously tackle human weaknesses and intimate issues, social dramas and the pathology of human relations. We will quickly peak at our vision of what used to be or at our hope of what will be in the future. To paraphrase the great Krleža, we will tackle the early dawn of civilization in whose sunset we live today. We will lie to you about what the truth really is and convincingly talk about things that never occurred. As Pirandello put it, it is as it seems. In the play “One Song a Day Keeps Mischief Away”, you will enjoy the masterful performance of Krešimir Mikić, reminiscent of Relja Bašić with his sleek hair and thin moustache; you will laugh from the bottom of your heart and feel dread at the same time. And just wait for the “Crawfish Cry”, which will leave you somewhat gloomy and inexplicably joyous. Perhaps you are just a toy in the hands of angels or demons. Who knows … You will witness both heaven and hell in a small box. Or, as it was exclaimed in that avant-garde performance: “We can show you blood and love without rhetoric, and we can show you blood and rhetoric without love; we can also show you all three of them at the same time. However, we cannot show you rhetoric and love without blood.” Without a doubt, you will witness performances of great actors, both Croatian and those from all over the world. You will see plays of eminent theatres, all under the roof of the Small Scene Theatre, even when those small scenes appear to be huge. We will show you what we have never shown you and on numerous occasions in these 25 years, we have shown you things that you don’t even remember any more and those that you will never forget. Because, as Svetlana Bojković exclaims at the end of the play “My You”: “ … I regret the most those memories that no-one can hear anymore…” We will do all of that because we love theatre. We also love you, our dear audience, perhaps more than you are aware. Perhaps you don’t even have to be aware of our affection. Who knows … We will give you a part of the theatre that we have never had and that has never even existed, although we are certain that it did. You will receive that gift, but only for one night because both you and we are only passengers on the great journey composed of images of life – we know nothing about it, but we believe that we will learn something about it while watching those small boxes. Who knows …

Bojan Munjin

Word from the selector 2018