Wolfram Lotz

The Absurd Darkness

(Die lächerliche Finsternis)

Translated by: Urška Brodar

Directed by: Tin Grabnar

Co-produced by: Slovensko mladinsko gledališče and Akademija za gledališče, radio, film in televizijo Univerze v Ljubljani

Performing rights S. Fischer Verlag GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; © 2013


Première: 17 September 2015


“My theatre text can never possibly be realised completely and is as such unfulfillable in real life as well. This theatre text thus remains a challenge to theatre artists as well as to society and life itself,” commented the young German author Wolfram Lotz in his text The Absurd Darkness. Lotz has inundated European stages in the past few years, meeting extreme success and causing a wave of excitement amongst thespians. His (albeit few) texts turn the concept of theatre upside down. They demand a completely new approach to staging and call for reconsidering the conventional theatre machinery.

The Absurd Darkness is a radio play that allows the possibility of a stage performance. It was inspired by the cult classic Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola. Two soldiers are ordered to venture into the depths of the fictive Afghan rainforest, to find and eliminate a crazy officer. During their own travels they meet bizarre people with even more bizarre stories. With the boat on which they travel, they penetrate the unusual world of exploitation, war horrors, abuse and the destructive desire for power. The horrifying alienation and increasingly bizarre events that prey on them in the rainforest are paradoxically close to us, as the dark core of the rainforest represents the world in which we live. In the text, we follow – through the feverish madness of two travellers – the elusive search for sense in a world in which man has forgotten about his fellow man. “We’re in the middle of a warzone, and we don’t even notice it,” is one of the sentences that cuts through the text. The Absurd Darkness is a desperate cry, an appeal to getting off a speeding train on which we find ourselves, an appeal to look around. To ask ourselves in what kind of world are we actually living?!

Despite its complexity The Absurd Darkness invites to a playful manner of performance. The text is written in a way that discloses the performative procedures, anticipates performing didascalia, shatters illusion and transfers the events to “the here and now”. With its procedures it never hides the facts that what we witness is only a fictive theatre text and we’re all together in the theatre. Even if the said theatre is, at the end, always teatrum mundi.

A production of the 8th semester of the study programmes Theatre Directing, Stage Acting and Dramaturgy and Performing Arts.
Stage Acting and Theatre Directing: Kristijan Muck, Prof.; Sebastijan Horvat, MA, Assoc. Prof.
Dramaturgy: Blaž Lukan, PhD, Assist. Prof.
Set design: Jasna Vastl. MA, Assoc. Prof.
Costume design: Janja Korun, Prof.; Tina Kolenik, MA, Assist.
Speech: Katarina Podbevšek. PhD, Assist. Prof.

Translation supported by Goethe-Institut



Daša Doberšek -
Željko Hrs -
Klara Kastelec -
Ivan Peternelj -
Robert Prebil -
Nika Rozman -
Stane Tomazin -
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Wolfram Lotz

Urška Brodar

Tin Grabnar

Nina Šorak

Assistant director
Marko Mlačnik

Costume designer
Sara Smrajc Žnidarčič

Set designer
Adriana Furlan

Authorial sound
Tomaž Grom

Voice work consultant
Irena Tomažin

Language consultant
Mateja Dermelj

Sound designer
Marijan Sajovic

Lighting designer
Matjaž Brišar

Stage manager
Janez Pavlovčič

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