June 2014

Un Vent de Folie is a charming mix of diversity for which we are hard pressed to find a common denominator, it is a voluptuous presentation of hybridity, named after goddess Hybris, it is an aggressive, yet lucid, surrealistic (here in its historical sense, complying with Breton’s demands from the Manifesto) merging of the Slovenian folk traditions with the genres of variety entertainment, for example vaudeville or cabaret. The same type of merging also occurs on the level of iconography and costumes – this was taken care of by Jean-Louis Badet – and it might be the most obvious in the method of collating and overlapping the layers in individual numbers and attractions. […]

What attracts us in this performance is primarily the vertiginous mixture of the pieces used and the charm of the image, of course alongside the effective and consummate acting of all five members of the Mladinsko. […] Tompkins, wittily and at times intensely, plays with our perceptions and expectation, and above all, destructs any demand for pure form, determinability and the placement into one and singular context. This doesn’t only allow him to research the readiness of the actors to build a role that is simultaneously hybrid and eclectic, but primarily tests the will of the spectators to watch the performance – and simultaneously their reception of the same – on different levels, from which it is reflected. Which is so much the easier, because the performance is markedly witty, not only when it mixes the irreconcilable which allows us to see the fragmentation of the form – it is even more effective when it transforms the tradition. Also, the performance achieves that rarely seen magic; it seems that since the ludism, the home-grown witty part of the art places more stake into gags than it does into their execution, while the earnest falls prey to perfection even when it has nothing new to tell, and then hides behind the mask of solemnity and the haughty delivery of opinions. But Tompkins doesn’t; it is noticeable that he comes from a tradition that doesn’t distinguish so strictly between the elite and popular culture, his use of material is definitely innovative, and the travesty anchored in many points, from the folk tradition and mythology to the today banal and worn relicts of the former ideology with, for example pioneer and partisan songs.

Matej Bogataj

Parada plesa

4 June 2014

Each individual scene in the Tompkins’ show can also be read as an allusion to the insipidity of the television environment (at least ours), while exhibiting a perfect staging, without particular sensory perceptions, a cold construction of the glamour of the set and the fantasy of the costumes; the work of the French artist Jean-Louis Badet, a painter who has been working closely with Mark Tompkins since 1988 in the creation of his performances. No doubt, all is “set” on the set. […]

Daliborka Podboj


28 May 2014

There is no doubt that the cooperation between the Mladinsko Theatre and the internationally renowned Mark Tompkins is valuable. He doesn't perform this time; as the author of the concept, director and choreographer in Un Vent de Folie he leaves this to others, and he, just as he did in his solo projects for himself, trusts them with singing numbers in addition to the theatre or movement ones. Mladinsko's newest performance thus blends different stage expressions, and also unites different genres into a whole by creating a just over an hour long performance with variegated materials, both with (literary and academic) texts of Slovenian authors as well as songs of folk or partisan traditions, or evergreens. And when different elements are thus entwined, two performative goals are realised: the very performative concept of breaking conventions, introducing antagonisms, and at the same time the tendency to surprise the audience.

Ana Perne

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