DAMNED BE THE TRAITOR OF HIS HOMELAND!
Shocking, accusatory and disturbing, Damned Be the Traitor of His Homeland! (the last verse of the Yugoslav national anthem) is a bracing cry for civil and artistic liberty.
Yugoslavia was devoured by civil war and chopped up into a handful of wounded statelets. The Croat Oliver Frljić leads an explicitly humanist charge, presenting a manifesto where private dramas and historical dramas are interwoven. This is theatre of combat where killings multiply in a ritual that is a clear reminder that the land is still damp with the blood of thousands of victims.
A forceful look at individual responsibility, the play is performed by an incredibly true-to-life cast of Balkan actors from the Mladinsko Theatre in Slovenia. Extreme pain and suffering, immoderate joy, unchecked hatred, tears beyond measure – everything is heightened. But the spirit of the piece is not so much theatrical illusion as blunt clarity.
The angry young director displays the still raw open wounds of this brutal split-up in this powerful punch to the gut. Shocking, accusatory and disturbing, Damned Be the Traitor of His Homeland! (the last verse of the Yugoslav national anthem) is a bracing cry for civil and artistic liberty.
PRODUCED BY MLADINSKO THEATRE
DIRECTED AND WRITTEN BYOLIVER FRLJIĆ
WITH PRIMOŽ BEZJAK + OLGA GRAD + UROŠ KAURIN + BORIS KOS + UROŠ MAČEK + DRAGA POTOČNJAK + MATEJ RECER + ROMANA ŠALEHAR + DARIO VARGA + MATIJA VASTL
SET AND COSTUME DESIGNOLIVER FRLJIĆ
SOUND DESIGN SILVO ZUPANČIČ
DRAMATURGY BORUT ŠEPAROVIĆ + TOMAŽ TOPORIŠIČ
LIGHTING DESIGN OLIVER FRLJIĆ + TOMAŽ ŠTRUCL
WRITTEN BY DIANE JEAN
TRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
PREMIERED AT MLADINSKO THEATRE, MARCH 2010
OLIVER FRLJIĆ (LJUBLJANA + ZAGREB)
A writer, director, theorist, choreographer and actor, Oliver Frljić is truly the enfant terrible of ex-Yugoslavian theatre, moving freely from street theatre to performances in established institutions, from small intimate spaces to the large National Theatre. His plays provoke discussion and generate contrasting reactions. He pushes the limits, blending reality and fiction, and public and private spheres.
Not yet 40, Oliver Frljić got his start in performance art. His satirical and fiery theatre has been attracting a growing following in the Balkans. After winning two awards at the 17th Small Scene Theatre Festival in Rijeka, Croatia, in 2010 with Turbo Falk and Bacchantes, in 2011 he was awarded the Golden Laurel Wreath at the 51st edition of MESS, the Sarajevo International Theatre Festival, for his adaptation of the classic Yugoslav film When Father was Away on Business, with script by Abdulah Sidran. In November 2011 he received the best director award at the Brčko theatre festival in Bosnia for Letter From 1920, a play about contemporary Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The Mladinsko (“youth” in Slovenian) Theatre was founded in 1955. It presented plays for children and adolescents until the 1980s, before gradually moving toward interdisciplinary pieces, experimental theatre and plays with political content. In 2008 it became the first Slovenian theatre to be awarded the European Ambassador of Culture title by the European Commission.