Hello, congratulations on your show tonight. It is an honour and privilege to speak to you today. I`m very curious to hear something about your childhood, and how you discovered the art world. We all know that your work is recognizable, and based on a combination of different art disciplines you use in your work. How was it in the beginning?
- When I was very young boy, I belonged to a drama club and I was a young actor. In Germany, every single theatre has its own drama club. So, it means that as a young actor you have a chance to create some shows with the professionals. That`s what I did, and I became a semi-professional actor. After that, I started to act in some movies and to perform as a young opera singer. At one point, when I was around nineteen years old, I directed my first play in Berlin. Then I continued working as an assistant to older famous German theatre directors. And after that, I went to study in Munich, and it has been a long, long way to this day.
Who was your inspiration at young age?
- I like talking about movies and movie directors. One of my favourite is David Lynch, who inspires me a lot. I never start from the big literature, nor it inspires me in an important way. I`m influenced by specific pictures. You can see so many things in one image. I create stage design based on images. I create a visual platform as Hitchcock did, without any explanation. I am inspired by art that surpasses the language.
I`m impressed that you`ve worked with the fantastic actress Kate Strong. Also, in the Living Room you collaborated with one of the biggest Serbian actresses Vesna Čipčić. Please, can you tell me about that urgency to work with powerful women artists?
- Yes, yes I like a lot older women (laughing). Actually, Kate Strong has been one of the best friends of mine over ten years and we collaborate together a lot. We`ve just finished the opening where I worked as a choreographer. I met her in Munich in 2011, since then we`ve been collaborating. At the moment, she takes care of my flowers. In terms of Vesna, oh, she is my new great love. She is one of the greatest persons and actresses I`ve ever worked with. She is a real sweetheart.
How do you choose your actors and actresses, do you hold open call auditions or something similar to that?
- I don`t hold auditions. I first meet someone, and if I can drink alcohol with them, or if I can hang out with them, that means I can also work with them. I never watch what they have done before. To me, the only important thing is that I have my personal relationship with them and that we can have fun and talk to each other.
Beautiful! Does that mean that you had a lot of fun with the ensemble of Belgrade Drama Theatre?
- Oh, for sure, of course I did, yes indeed.
So, I conclude that you feel very welcome and comfortable at Belgrade Drama Theatre, and you were able to create what you imagined. Does that mean that the ensemble was completely open and ready to be left to you and share their ideas with you?
- I had such a great ensemble, I loved them for real, they are truly marvellous team and you will see them tonight.
I remember your first time at the 51. Bitef festival, it was your very first time that you showed your work outside of your country. How do you see the circumstances that Bitef witnessed at that time and what do you think about situation today when we all know that we got effected by the Corona virus? How do you experience Belgrade today?
I would say that is not that strict in terms of that all people wear their face masks. I flew in today from Belgium and I think that there are the strictest in terms of respecting the rules. Of course, the rules are everywhere to remind you to wear face masks in the audience but last time the audience pushed to enter the theatre, the theatre was fully packed. Today, it is reduced on around hundred audience members, everyone is sitting at a distance, and it is a little bit stressed to all of us. But anyway, I am happy that we were eventually able to show you the performance.
What is the Bitef festival to you?
- The Bitef festival is for me in a way my second godmother.
This is beautifully said and thank you very much for your time that you spent on the readers of our blog. I wish you a successful premiere and all the best at your future career.