ON THE GRAVE OF STUPID EUROPESebastijan Horvat / Milan Marković Matthis
In the “Croatian Rhapsody” Krleža showed the fate of a nation as the fate of a train carriage that does not longer move on the railway track but goes into infinity, into nothingness. This text has not been performed much in Croatia, however, it has now been staged in the Rijeka theatre by the Slovenian director Sebastijan Horvat, in cooperation with the dramaturge Milan Marković Matthis. Their interpretation is not based on holding onto Krleža’s text, but on the free use of motifs from the “Croatian Rhapsody”, updated with the contemporary context of Croatia and Europe, also with acting improvisations. At first sight, we might conclude that the detachment from Krleža is radical, however, this staging of the “Croatian Rhapsody” is completely Krleža’s with its essential atmosphere and spirit. Krleža’s characters are reduced to archetypes, to the Father, Mother, Daughter, Son, Governess, Grandmother, Servant, Barrister, Wife and Husband. On the level of the visual, namely, the costumes by Belinda Radulović, they, dressed in black tailcoats and evening dresses, evoke the Glembays and the Glembay syndrome, the term connoting a specific alienation of one layer of a society and its inevitable death at the beginning of the twentieth century. Through the allegoric image of the train, Krleža speaks of Croatia that is lost in the chaos and hopelessness of the war years, while Sebastijan Horvat introduces relations to Croatia of nowadays, but also to Europe, which is constructing new walls against the Other and otherness.
Kim Cuculić, “Croatian Rhapsody” – Walls of European indifference and cynism, Novi list