About the Production
Following performances at the Zagreb Youth Theatre and at the Slovenian National Theatre Drama in Ljubljana, director Sebastijan Horvat ends the year of Heiner Mueller’s Cement at the Belgrade Drama Theatre. Mueller’s Cement is a piece about turmoil: from the revolutionary times that it treats, the struggle between the emancipatory aspirations of his characters and their anchoring in the traditional family relationships they grew up in, to the romantic relationship between the main characters, Dasha and Gleb Chumalov, reflecting the impact of social circumstances on the most intimate level. The third performance, our Belgrade one, inspired by a play by the great East German playwright, will be based on an original play by Horvat’s regular associate Milan Ramšak Marković, in which the place and time of the story moves to Belgrade, to the present day. The relationship between trauma and memory, political dementia that we gradually get lost in and the conflict that is encoded in our bodies are just some of the motifs we will introduce to this Belgrade one, last act of a conversation with Heiner Mueller.
SEBASTIJAN HORVAT is one of the most acclaimed and creative Slovenian theatre directors. He was born in Maribor in 1971. As a student of the legendary director and professor Dušan Jovanović, he graduated (in 1998) in Theatre Directing from the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana with the staging of Elsinor, an original adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, that won the University of Ljubljana Prešern Award for directing. As a theatre director he has worked in all professional theatres in Slovenia and many theatres abroad. For his theatre work he has also received the national Prešern Fund Award for theatre direction, Montblanc Young Directors Project Award at Salzburg Festspiele, the Borštnik Award for direction, Grand Prix and Šeligo Award at the Week of Slovenian Drama, the award by the Sociological Association and Association of Critics and Theatrologists for the performance of the year. Since 2005, Horvat has worked as a senior lecturer of Theatre Directing at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana. Since 2015, he has taught acting workshops at ZHDK, Zurich University of the Arts. He is also one of the founders of the independent theatre institute E.P.I. center.
MILAN RAMŠAK MARKOVIĆ is an awarded screenwriter, dramaturge, playwright and performer, born in 1978 in Belgrade. Besides working on film, TV and in drama theatre, he is an active participant of the Belgrade and Ljubljana independent performing arts scenes. He has written the scripts for TV series Morning Changes Everything and Open Doors. His theatre plays have been staged in Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Lithuania and England, and published in Bosnian, English, Slovenian, Serbian, and German. In the capacity of a dramaturge, he has worked on performances in Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Danmark, Italy, and Germany. He is currently living and working in Ljubljana. The awards he has received include the critic award for the performance of the season in Slovenia (Borštnikovo srečanje, 2019); the award for the performance The Bondsmen, directed by Sebastijan Horvat: Šeligo Award (Kranj, 2016); an award for the achievements in dramaturgy Grün-Filipič (Ljubljana, 2021), and “Borislav Mihajlović Mihiz” award for achievement in playwriting (Belgrade, 2013).
The performance Ali: Fear Eats Your Soul by these two authors has won three awards at the 53rd Bitef (Grand Prix “Mira Trailović”, Politika Jury Award for the best directing achievement, the Audience Award)
From the reviews
“A layered, inspiring theatrical re-evaluation of the spirit of time past and time now; from what heroism, revolution, rebellion are(not) and were(not), to looking for any kind of place for ourselves under the sun. (Or maybe from then to now the prior has come to boil down to the latter…) An unusual, powerful performance consisting of two parts that are actually so different that it seems like they are two separate performances whose axes - arousing questions - intersect somewhere in the viewer. ”
Tanja Nježić, Blic.rs
“The Belgrade Drama Theatre performance consists of two completely different parts, practically two performances, where the antipodes form a whole: the first one is about the intentions of a revolution, the second is about its results; the first is about the birth of a society from an idea, the second about the decline of that society in a time without ideas; the first is about youth with no limits, the second about the increasingly tighter limitations of old age.”
Aleksandra Glovacki, Nova.rs
“And if, after the end, when Dušan fails to find Sonja in the bathroom that she’d gone to before retiring to bed, the game started all over again, the effects would have been exactly the same - devastating uncertainty, whether or not this scene, this life is actually taking place or if it is merely an echo, a trace of vanished reason and former harmony, which travel through the universe in light years.”
Dragana Bošković, Novosti.rs