Postcards from the Gods (Andrew Haydon)


5 May 2016

First, The Republic of Slovenia is not political theatre, it is a concentrate of pure politics on stage, a postdramatic and post-political theatre. It reconstructs certain fundamental political and criminal events from the embryonic phase of constituting the state that don’t fit into the glorious chapters of national history, but rather onto the crime pages. The horror of reality in which the steel blades of the country were tempered, is underlined with the dry expressiveness and the namelessness of the performance. Everything revolves around the arms trade during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Croatia and the Slovenian participation is this trade.
The absence of authorship burdens us with collective responsibility or simply with a sense of entrapment. When the end comes, it doesn’t come for those who were present throughout. There’s no moralising in the performance, it simply pushes the spectator to ridicule and silent laughter inside. And to anger, the powerless rage. How deep did The Republic of Slovenia go on the stage? Deeper than many others before it. If media discoveries and court epilogues weren’t enough to clear things up, let alone the catharsis regarding the horrifying events, perhaps the stage is the (only) right place [for this]?

Melita Forstnerič Hajnšek


30 April 2016

Playwrights, eat your hearts out – what a fantastic study of characters, currents of thoughts, transparency of politics, unexpected frankness, almost philosophical delving into the question of truth, public, politics, the general humanity. Surrounded by their narrowest circle, politicians can drop the fences of the wooden language they use otherwise. Frankness is at times downright touching, incomparably more present in those who would want to lie less than in those who are used to lying. [...]
Here, the versions, the complete documentation, objectivity from every aspect cannot actually explain anything and it is in fact necessary to have a play, a rich, professional, engaged and experienced, theatre in its essence of glory, as a performance of something else. Only then, at the pinnacle of its performative cogency, theatre achieves that “serving the nation” we’ve not been expecting from it in decades, perhaps longer.
The distance we’ve grown accustomed to, bizarreness and cultural alienation come back to us like a hot slap: yes, theatre that tells us about important, purposely concealed, scandalous things important to every one of us, also makes sense. Yes, the direct message in line with the one that Aeschylus’s Persians had, also makes sense.

Svetlana Slapšak


30 April 2016

The foundation of every country is a crime, we learnt when we were young. Fine, but does that mean that the Slovenian state is thus founded on criminal acts, that we’re all citizens of a mafia state as the performance suggests? This is that punch in the gut, and this question is the reason that you have to see the performance. In order to remember all this once again, in order to (like Oedipus) perhaps know ourselves and notice the context which creates filthy history from our present. Not only would we see (for a moment), and then sacrifice our blank stares to new blindings, but, perhaps, some time in future, also take action. As citizens.

Janez Pipan

Delo – Sobotna priloga

23 April 2016

A theatre performance has done – together with former state operatives and journalists – what in more than twenty years neither official politics nor the judicature have managed to do. Isn’t this the proof how badly Slovenia needs civil society and its culture? Not only it does the politics’ job, it also establishes an alternative binding position. So that Slovenia now doesn’t only have one and only position. The one of Cain.

Janez Markeš


5 May 2016

The Republic of Slovenia doesn’t speak only about the political and arms trade scandals and doesn’t tell everything, but it doesn’t keep quiet, either; it insists on the principle that every interpretation is a matter of perspective, so it perhaps appears a little indecisive, undetermined and unfinished, but I understand this as one of its qualities. The Republic of Slovenia is not a provocation and not an explicitly presented criticism, but rather a platform for reflection, left to an attentive and active spectator. Because: an individual is important, as is her or his stance on which the state – of one or another type – rests.

Nika Arhar

Radio Študent

22 April 2016

The performance The  Republic of Slovenia uses a documentarist theatre method to tackle the archaeology of past without wanting to deal with it but rather repeat it in a way that would archive it with a documentary theatre method. Which means we’re witnesses to documentary reconstructions of three events that revolve around the arms trade during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Croatia. At that, The Republic of Slovenia is still a nuanced and dramaturgically perfected theatre event.
On the performative level the architecture of the performance thus follows the gradation shift from the experiential and documentary to the spectacle and the abstract.
The Republic of Slovenia of course isn’t an example of fearless speech, because the latter must as its addendum always produce an actual glitch in the existing order of things. But it is the example of the use of (fearless) speech that doesn’t speak and discover the unknown, but speaks what is so well known that it is difficult to articulate. And because its declaratory position is so cleverly set into the theatre strategy, the performance operates with a certain performative strength that can make us recognise that theatre is merely a twist on reality. Which means that when we leave the theatre, we only leave the theatre, but not the performance.

Robert Bobnič

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