SLG Celje

Co-produced by Prešeren Theatre Kranj

Matjaž Zupančič

Songs of the Living Dead

(Pesmi živih mrtvecev)

Drama
World premiere

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Matjaž Zupančič is an award-winning Slovenian director and playwright who has authored thirteen plays (Devil Busters, A Delicious Corpse, Restlessness, Fly Killers, Vladimir, The Naked Pianist, The Corridor, A Dick in the Hand is Worth Two Thieves in the Bush, Couples at Stake, The Class, The Fall of Europe, Shocking Shopping, Songs of the Living Dead, A Passage). He is a five-time winner of the Grum Award for the best new Slovenian play (Vladimir in 1998, The Naked Pianist in 2001, The Corridor in 2003, The Class in 2006, and Shocking Shopping in 2011). His plays have been performed or stage read in Slovenia, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Croatia. He has been invited to many major European theatre festivals (Bonner Biennale, Festival d‘Avignon…) in his capacity as a director and playwright. He teaches theatre and radio directing at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana.
In the Songs of the Living Dead we are faced with a commission, consisting of a chairperson, an expert on technical issues, a political delegate and a clerk. The commission is entrusted with the task to investigate a strange incident in which a young man bit off an ear of an important foreign delegation member. It transpires that the unidentified young man managed to escape from a nearby morgue despite strict security measures since the facility was not under surveillance. As reported by the clerk, this was due to the fact that no imminent threat was expected from the morgue, let alone an escaped living person. The play, carrying a strong message of social commitment, cleverly explores the condition of Slovenian political life and the existence of various commissions that are being set up one after another and are never capable (perhaps this is not their ultimate aim) to bring any matters to conclusion due to bureaucratic formalities and mutual disputes. In the meantime, people are dying in front of their members’ eyes. Using his signature scathing humour, Zupančič portrays a grotesque political scene, showing an inexorable mirror to contemporary Slovenian society.
Songs of the Living Dead was one of the five shortlisted plays for the Grum Award 2015. In their statement the jury panel indicated as follows: Songs of the Living Dead is a corrosive and sarcastic, but sadly, also a very accurate picture of today's world. In the play one observes an assembly of an »expert-political« commission gathered to examine an unusual and almost absurd incident. Instead of dealing with the problem itself, the commission is constantly distracted, losing track in procedural issues, seeking solutions in the protocol and procedural legislation, until it finally succumbs to personal preferences and whims. In its almost perverse self-absorbed dealings with itself, the commission plainly ignores its prime task. And while this and many similar commissions in various institutions gather for meetings, people are becoming increasingly powerless in dealing with their everyday reality and their various material and health problems, causing them to turn into a kind of the living dead. Their survival instinct is called optimism, preventing them to realise they are actually no longer alive. This extremely well-written and clever play makes us laugh out loud as we watch its black humour seeping provocatively into a distressing image of a deeply split world in which »commissions« invariably fail to resolve anything, while the lives of those to whom they are accountable, inexorably pass out due to general indifference and cruelty.

Director Matjaž Zupančič
Dramaturg Alja Predan
Set Designer Alen Ožbolt
Costume Designer Bjanka Adžić Ursulov
Author of the Video Marko Naberšnik
Stage Music and Sound Designer Vanja Novak
Language Consultant Jože Volk
Make-up Designer Matej Pajntar
Lighting Designer Bojan Hudernik

 

Cast
Jožef Predsednik, chairman Peter Musevski
Benjamin Kozinski, professional knowledge expert Aljoša Koltak
Dr. Jan Pedlbuš, professional knowledge expert Renato Jenček
Roza Pavlova, political deputy Lučka Počkaj
Tristan Komobran, political deputy Igor Žužek
Clerk Aljoša Ternovšek
Secretary Vesna Pernarčič
Patient, initially a corpse Blaž Setnikar

Opening 16 September 2017 in PG Kranj and 29 September 2017 in SLG Celje
Performance duration: 1 hour and 20 minutes. No interval.

Gallery Songs of the Living Dead

  • Igor Žužek, Blaž Setnikar, Lučka Počkaj, Aljoša Ternovšek

  • Peter Musevski, Blaž Setnikar, Igor Žužek, Lučka Počkaj, Aljoša Ternovšek

  • A. Koltak, R. Jenček, I. Žužek, B. Setnikar, P. Musevski, A. Ternovšek, L. Počkaj

  • Aljoša Ternovšek, Igor Žužek

  • Aljoša Koltak, Peter Musevski, Lučka Počkaj, Igor Žužek

  • Renato Jenček, Peter Musevski, Igor Žužek, Lučka Počkaj, Aljoša Ternovšek

  • Lučka Počkaj, Igor Žužek

  • Lučka Počkaj, Igor Žužek

  • B. Setnikar, R. Jenček, A. Koltak, P. Musevski, I. Žužek, A. Ternovšek, L. Počkaj, V. Pernarčič

  • Lučka Počkaj, Igor Žužek, Peter Musevski, Aljoša Ternovšek

  • Renato Jenček, Lučka Počkaj, Igor Žužek, Blaž Setnikar, Aljoša Koltak

  • R. Jenček, A. Koltak, L. Počkaj, I. Žužek, P. Musevski, A. Ternovšek, V. Pernarčič

  • Peter Musevski, Aljoša Ternovšek, Igor užek, Aljoša Koltak, Lučka Počkaj

  • Lučka Počkaj, Igor Žužek, Blaž Setnikar, Peter Musevski

  • Lučka Počkaj, Peter Musevski, Blaž Setnikar

  • Lučka Počkaj, Igor Žužek, Peter Musevski, Blaž Setnikar, Vesna Pernarčič

  • Igor Žužek, Lučka Počkaj, Blaž Setnikar, Peter Musevski, Vesna Pernarčič

  • Igor Žužek, Lučka Počkaj, Blaž Setnikar, Peter Musevski

  • Igor Žužek, Lučka Počkaj, Vesna Pernarčič

  • Renato Jenček, Aljoša Koltak, Igor Žužek, Blaž Setnikar, Lučka Počkaj, Peter Musevski

  • Blaž Setnikar, Renato Jenček, Peter Musevski

  • Aljoša Koltak, Renato Jenček, Lučka Počkaj, Igor Žužek, Blaž Setnikar, Peter Musevski

  • R. Jenček, A. Koltak, P. Musevski, L. Počkaj, I. Žužek, B. Setnikar, A. Ternovšek, V. Pernarčič

  • Igor Žužek, Blaž Setnikar

  • R. Jenček, A. Koltak, P. Musevski, L. Počkaj, I. Žužek, B. Setnikar

  • Renato Jenček, Aljoša Koltak, Peter Musevski, Lučka Počkaj, Igor Žužek,

  • Renato Jenček, Igor Žužek, Lučka Počkaj, Blaž Setnikar, Vesna Pernarčič, Aljoša Ternovšek

  • R. Jenček, I. Žužek, L. Počkaj, P. Musevski, V. Pernarčič, A. Ternovšek, B. Setnikar

  • Peter Musevski, Vesna Pernarčič

  • Blaž Setnikar, Peter Musevski, Renato Jenček, Igor Žužek, Lučka Počkaj, Aljoša Ternovšek

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