Bazaar Festival: DAMNED BE THE TRAITOR OF HIS HOMELAND! / Mladinsko Theatre & Oliver Frljić

performance length: 75 min

Highlight of the Season and Festival Opening Performance! 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. The work of “enfant terrible“ director Oliver Frljić comes to the Czech Republic at last!

Alfred ve dvoře presents Mladinsko Theatre in cooperation with Studio Hrdinů as the official opening of the 2017 Bazaar Festival.

Performance takes place at Studio Hrdinů. It is in Slovenian with Czech and English subtitles. Apologies - exceptionally there is no possibility to book your ticket, you can only buy them. They are not available at Studio Hrdinů's box office, please find them online on Thanks for understanding.

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.

The actors produce a scathing, disturbing, sometimes even shocking performance. They use wartime and political traumas to ask universal questions: about the boundaries of artistic and social freedom, individual and collective responsibility, tolerance and stereotypes. The theatrical framework of this laboratory is provided by stories from the break-up of the former Yugoslavia; the title comes from the last verse of the national anthem of this now defunct country.

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.

“This performance attempts, through the inflation of death, through the incessant repetition of the unrepeatable, to emphasize a theatre mechanism that always remains a representation of a certain outside reality. With its compulsive attempts to stage collective death, this performance challenges the theatrical representation of death, as well as the idea of theatre representation itself. The repetitions of death that appear on stage in almost regular intervals and after which the protagonists ‘come back to life’ expose the standstill of theatre mechanisms of representation. It is these very mechanisms for the production of fiction – that most often remain concealed – that push out any thematic-content frame and thus remain the only visible thing.“
Oliver Frljić

Director: Oliver Frljić
Cast: Primož Bezjak, Olga Grad, Uroš Kaurin / Blaž Šef, Boris Kos, Uroš Maček,
Draga Potočnjak, Matej Recer, Romana Šalehar*, Dario Varga, Matija Vastl
(*the actress does not actually appear in the performance due to an injury that happened shortly before the premiere; as she collaborated fully with the rest of the cast and her work is in a way still present on stage, we always credit her)
Performance text: based on the improvisations of the actors
Dramaturgy: Borut Šeparović, Tomaž Toporišič
Stage and costume design, music selection: Oliver Frljić
Assistant to the director and movement consultant: Matjaž Farič
Sound design: Silvo Zupančič
Light design: Oliver Frljić, Tomaž Štrucl
Light design on tour: David Cvelbar
Stage manager: Urša Červ
Produced by: Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana

Oliver Frljić
Oliver Frljić, internationally one of the most recognised contemporary directors from the territory of former Yugoslavia, a theorist, performer, actor and recipient of many prestigious theatre awards. First he studied philosophy and theology, then graduated from directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb. He enthrals and shocks with numerous authorial projects and radical reinterpretations of classical plays. With his provocative performances, he stirs audiences from Ljubljana and Kranj to Zagreb and Belgrade, to Düsseldorf, Graz, Krakow, Vienna; among other things, he started a heated public debate about censorship in the theatre in Croatia, opened the painful topic of the erased in Slovenia, and in Poland the participation of the Polish in the Holocaust. From 2014 to 2016 he was the director of the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka which he led in the spirit of incessant active reflection of the social reality in which theatre operates.

Mladinsko Theatre
Established in 1955 as the first professional theatre for children and youth in Slovenia. In the eighties, Mladinsko was gradually re-structured into a theatre which interdisciplinarily combined borderline theatre research and the thematisation of political subversiveness. Today, it is known for a wide range of innovative poetics of various young directors and the phenomenon of “ensemble energy” – the Brook approach towards acting, which is not based on star hierarchy, but on an acting laboratory connecting individual bravura parts into a strong whole of the acting ensemble.
With thanks to the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Prague

Photo: Nada Žgank