Theatrical Loser Blues: "Of Mice and Men" in Old Bar

By , 27 Jul 2018, 13:42 PM Lifestyle
A scene from the play A scene from the play Bar Ljetopis

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July 27, 2018 - On the stage in Old Bar, this year's premiere production of Bar Ljetopis is the play "Of Mice and Men", directed by Dino Mustafić, with the co-production by Ljetopis and Podgorica City Theater.

The prominent Bosnian and Herzegovinian leader justified his reputation and compliments with his vision of the famous short story of American nobleman John Steinbeck. With his director’s act he gave this theatrical "loser blues " multi-face and wide-ranging interpretation, in the context of the time when the action took place - the time of the American Great Depression, in the 1930s - and in light of the current moment in the USA (not only) when it comes to the eternal pursuit of the dream.

The performance is a classic slow-burner, lightly introduces the audience with the characters, draws the drama gradually, all the way to the eruption of the illusion in the final scene. Mustafić had unconcealed sympathies for the pauperized "heroes" of the act, the American "earth slavery and servants who are starving", the superiors who earn their bread by working hard at the farms and dream with eyes wide open about the better lives and their own piece of land under the sky. A relatively static literary model, with a good dramatic intervention by Stela Mišković, "smashed" with a mise end scene - and a fictional-performing ensemble won every part of the ambient of the scene in Old Bar, and songs that, with their text and music, were a "cloak" of the whole play. As he said to "Vijesti", after the bow to the audience, Mustafić made very little efforts in the text itself, altering only the important part for the feminine figure. The actors were also rewarded with a several-minute-long applause from the audience at the premiere, most notably to Miloš Pejovic for the role of Leni, and it is expected that they will be even better and more relaxed in the upcoming performances.

"All the thematic lines of the piece - from social justice, friendship, struggle for freedom - we wanted to preserve in our stance, to preserve the apotheosis of friendship, philanthropy, gentleness, the care that George and Leni, the main characters, express to each other. On the other hand, it was a very important social component, because all the characters, in a way, make the atmosphere of a vague, unbridled dream that there is a different, better world, far better than the one they are living in. The existential anxiety, the depression, the loneliness and the silence that comes upon them and breaks their spine has been important to us as the emotional and conceptual junctions of the play," Mustafić told the reporters after the premiere, among other things.

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A scene from the play PHOTO: Bar ljetopis

Dramatist Stela Mišković said Steinbeck's text in itself carries a certain dose of modernity "and is more a matter of our reading than the dramatic interventions". 

"What was needed to do in relation to Steinbeck was the relocation of the only female figure from the misogynies, we gave her the name and dreams she was entitled to. Our goal was, in every sense, that no character is just a mere function, but has been rounded from beginning till the end," said Miskovic. In the novel and on the scene, Leni is a physically exceptionally strong man with developmental disabilities, in whose interpretation Pejovic has accentuated the side of an almost infant innocence.

"We have commenced from the point where he has the child's consciousness in the body of a strong man without control of his behavior. With Leni it is all clear and pronounced, what was harder to find is his enthusiasm which I discovered in this acceptance of everything," Pejović said.

Mišo Obradovic played the role of Leni's friend-guardian George, and beside them, Branko and Pavle Ilic, Dejan Đonović, Marija Đurić, Božidar Zuber and Vule Marković are act in this piece. The screenplay was made by Smiljka Šeparović Radonjić, costume designer Lina Leković, and the music was composed by Tamara Obrovac. The next play is on 6th August.

Text by Radomir Petric, on July 25th, 2018, read more at Vijesti

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