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Teden slovenske drame

Ivan Cankar

The Serfs

Slovene Premanent Theatre in Trieste


Director: Sebastijan Horvat
Author of adaptation and dramaturg: Milan Marković Matis
Stage designer: Jürgen Kirner
Costume designer: Belinda Radulović
Composer: Drago Ivanuša
Language consultant: Tatjana Stanič
Assistant director: Žiga Divjak



Jerman: Radko Polič
Young Jerman: Romeo Grebenšek
Parish priest: Jure Kopušar
Lojzka: Nikla Petruška Panizon
Senior teacher: Iztok Drabik Jug
Kalander: Primož Forte
Mother: Maja Blagovič
Komar: Matija Rupel
Minka: Patrizia Jurinčič
Anka: Tina Gunzek
Pisek: Luka Cimprič

About the performance

Original title: Hlapci

Première: 20 March 2015
90 minutes, no interval

Every now and then we may believe that we’ve had enough of Cankar. But then it happens that he rings fresh, alive, pertinent, even revolutionary and, above all, urgent. Ivan Cankar wrote, a hundred years ago, about the things Slovenians cannot overcome, so his plays still hurt us, enthuse us, sharpen us. Right now this is certainly true for his most famous play, in which Jerman intends to "turn serfs into people". He persists, although the priest warns him that the path can’t be walked to the end, because it is "difficult and revolutionary". A well-known story …

The performance successfully attacks the expectations of the audience, attacks the cluster of expectations what The Serfs is and what effect it has, but a good knowledge of the source text is required to recognise the original and now shifted and deconstructed statements of the two choirs, that of the teachers and that of the actors.
At the end we are faced with the question of whether the "naïve" audience, the one subscribing to orthodoxy, is more affected, or the one who is slightly fed up with Cankariana and, connoisseurs that they are of contemporary performative practices, enjoys in recognising fact-fiction loops, entrances and exits into the space of the play and a wide spectrum of alienations.
(Matej Bogataj, Delo)


Photo gallery

The Serfs <em>Photo: Luca Quaia</em>
Photo: Luca Quaia
The Serfs <em>Photo: Luca Quaia</em>
Photo: Luca Quaia
The Serfs <em>Photo: Luca Quaia</em>
Photo: Luca Quaia