About the Production
A young couple is queuing at a cashier’s in Ikea when he suddenly suggests they have a baby. She’s caught off guard. His question triggers a chain reaction, since she was not even the least prepared for it. What does the future bring? Will they have to change their way of life? How, when and where to start this discussion at all? A concurrent sequence of ideas results in a positive answer. She says’ yes’. But this is only the beginning of the play.
First performed in 2011 and published in 2012, Lungs is a brutally honest take on a contemporary love story of two thirty-year-olds who live in constant uncertainty, while examining their value systems and fulfilling their personal ambitions. How is one to start a family if you have to complete your studies first and establish a successful career? How to take care of a child in the best possible way and not lose yourself along the way? Is it socially responsible even to consider having a baby in a world of political unrest and global warming? Questions are fired away in a furious pace, creating a hyper-real dialogue and establishing an unusual and complex relationship between the partners who unexpectedly find themselves at an important turning point in life.
DUNCAN MACMILLAN is considered one of the most intriguing authors of contemporary British drama. He is a playwright, theatre director and performer, working in theatre, film and television (mostly for the BBC). He is most noted for his plays Lungs, People, Places and Things, Every Brilliant Thing and the stage adaptation of the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four which he co-adapted and co-directed with Robert Icke. His plays are often directed by Katie Mitchell. Many of Macmillan's major plays take as their central theme a contemporary socio-political issue: Lungs explores parenthood, People, Places and Things addiction and recovery, and Every Brilliant Thing considers the issue of suicidality. In 2013, Lungs won Best New Play award at the Off West End Awards.
Macmillan first rose to prominence through the Bruntwood Playwriting Competition at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre, winning two awards in its inaugural year for his play Monster, which was also nominated for a TMA Best New Play Award and a Manchester Evening News Best New Play Award.
ŽIGA DIVJAK has been devoted to auteur theater since his student days at the Ljubljana Academy of Theater, Radio, Film and Television. He received the Academy Prešeren Award for his trilogy of student productions under the common title Right Before the Revolution. After graduating from the academy, he directed an auteur project The Man Who Watched the World at the Mladinsko Theater, for which he received the Borštnik award for best direction and the acting Ensemble received the Borštnik award for acting (Maribor Theatre Festival, 2017). In the 2017/18 season he was involved in The New Post Office residency project, where he created and directed another auteur project: 6, coproduction of Mladinsko Theatre and Maska Ljubljana, which won grand prix for best performance at Maribor Theatre Festival in 2018. For his play Seven Days, cowritten with Katarina Morana and produced by Ljubljana City Theatre, he was nominated for the Slavko Grum Award at the 50th Week of Slovenian Drama (Kranj, 2020). Twenty-eight-year-old Žiga Divjak has presented himself to the theater audience as a director who, with a strong sense of social and human injustice, questions the structure of world and Slovenian society on the basis of documentary material, especially in its dimensions that determine the thoughts and lives of individuals.
IGOR VASILJEV was born in 1973 in Pula. He obtained his Master’s Degree in stage design at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade. Working as an author of stage design in various genres of performing arts and as an explorer in the field of graphic design and digital media he created sets for more than seventy productions in theatres in the region (Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia), as well as in several European theatres (Great Britain, Denmark, Austria) or festivals (Edinburgh festival, Taschenoper Festival Salzburg etc.). His selected set designs have been presented in Spectacular! Stage Design book in 2015. Igor Vasiljev has won the Award for Best Set Design at the Assitej Festival in Čakovec and the Naj, naj, naj Festival in Zagreb in 2015 and 2018; the 2011 Annual Award for scenic design from ULUPUDS; recognition for stage design at the YUSTAT Biennale of Stage Design and annual awards for set design from the “Duško Radović” Little Theatre. He also exhibited in the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, PQ99. Together with Petra Berg he manages Aber Dabei International Performing Arts Collective based in Denmark.
From the Reviews
“Lungs“ are, above anything else, a performance of an intense actors’ focus and precision which is largely demanded by the text itself. It is a consistently orchestrated dialogue of a young couple, an unstoppable avalanche of words which, after his question about their potential offspring, turns into a rough flow of thoughts, a contemplation of one’s own path and the situation in the world, revealing the trap of overly intellectualizing life. The strange paradox of intimacy that marks this situation has been unequivocally adopted by the director Žiga Divjak through his stage approach.”
Nika Arhar, Dnevnik
“Are our lungs really just a CO2 factory, is man just a machine whose CO2 emission is to be remeasured? Can their initially tragic story have a happy ending, since they live their lives without planetary burden that they have taken on - in a naive, and at the same time megalomaniac, egomaniac manner - thus poisoning their relationship? They have extinguished their vital powers by their hyper-sensible attitude towards the environment through a self-imposed political correctness, and their social responsibility has become so excessive that they have disappeared as two people who are in love, they have poisoned joys with planetary noises of global changes. Hyper-intellectualism keeps destroying them, taking away their breath for normal functioning in the basic unit.”
Melita Forstnerič Hajnšek, Večer
“The main focus of the performance is a burning question of young intellectuals who, being aware of environmental issues, have to accept the responsibility of whether they are ready to be so selfish as to defy common good and start a family. The call of motherhood is very often louder than moral, and feelings beat the reason. That is the core of the performance in which care for the environment takes the place of care for family.”
Neža Bohinc, Koridor