EXCERPTS OF REVIEWS OF PLAYS

SELECTED EXCERPTS OF REVIEWS OF PLAYS BY 

GORAN STEFANOVSKI

 

 

 2012

 

ODYSSEUS, Theatre Ulysses, directed by Aleksandar Popovski

 

Jutarnji list, Zagreb, 22.7.2012, Tomislav Cadez

“Goran Stefanovski is the best playwright from the former Yugoslavia. (…) His main method is parody, only serious. It could be said that Stefanovski writes a kind of a morality play.”

 

Danas, Belgrade, 18 July 2012, K. R.

 “Leading Macedonian playwright Goran Stefanovski has had British residence for some time and is teaching at Canterbury Christ Church University.”

Delo, Ljubljana, 23.7.2012, Peter Rak

The text is a brilliant anatomy of decomposition of the former state. It highlights the universal antagonisms of the Balkans, especially concepts such as home or “domestic hearth” and related major themes of heroism, patriotism and honor, and more intimate feelings of nostalgia, love, eroticism and melancholy. In the irrational Balkans all these characteristics get megalomaniac character and pathos… Ulysses is a fascinating play. Popovski has managed to give shape to an excellent text, where each scene is microscopically coded, every particle offers the complete information, but still remains theatrically exclusive. “

Dnevnik, Ljubljana, 38.7.2012 by Irena Brejc

“a magic artistic experience!”

Srpsko Narodno Pozoriste, Novi Sad, www.snp.org.rs, Ivan Jovanovic

“Best production of the decade in this part of the world…Stefanovski’s Odysseus subverts the Homeric myth…(Odysseus) is a classic Balkan type, a worn out farcical version of himself…This dramaturgic and directorial approach presents a phenomenal metaphorical analysis of the history of these parts…An ingenious  production!” 

 

Novi List, Rijeka, 21.7.2012, Kim Cuculic

“The character of Ulysses, which is very often the inspiration for works of art, in Stefanovski’s play has come to life in a new way, in a brilliant reinterpretation of the classical myth that leads to dialogue with modernity. In a kind of a postmodern game Goran Stefanovski brings the well-known narrative motifs close to our contemporary experience.”  

Vecernji list, Zagreb, 22.7.2012, Denis Derk

“Emotional and liberating premierre of a play by the famous Macedonian playwright Gorana Stefanovski”.

 

Blic, Beograd, 25.11.2012, Tanja Njezic

 

“Great production. Excellent performances. Brilliant text and brilliant actors!   Interview of film  director Želimir Žilnik”

2004

 

 

EVERYMAN, Theatre Mélange, directed  by Sandy Maberley

 

(tour to Macedonia in partnership with the British Council )

 

Makedonija denes, 8. June 2004 Towards the play “Everyman” by Goran Stefanovski, performed by theatre “Melange”. With incredibly defined and precise body language, and with even more perfect scene language, “Melange” taught us a real lesson for contemporary and visual theatre. Compact and perfectly fitted into the scenography, they did not leave even one indifferent viewer  from the audience that was present in a large number. Particular impression left the ability of the actors to present the whole ……… of their characters and the bizarre lives that they lived in during the 90 minutes on stage.

 

 

1996

 

EX-YU,  Trycicle Theatre, London, directed by Nick Kent

 

Michael Billington, The Guardian, 11.5. 1996 (“…Goran Stefanovski’s “Ex-Yu” about a woman seeking information about her father’s suicide during the Balkan war, is genuinely haunting”.)

 

Michael Coveney, The Observer, May 15, 1996 (“Ex-Yu”by Goran Stefanovski, the most interestingly inflected of the three (responses)…”)

 

Time Out, June-12, 1996 (“Kent’s anniversary production links the righteous past of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial with three short plays exploring the moral ambiguities of current global conflict: Haiti, Rwanda and Bosnia. The best is Stefanovski’s “Ex-Yu” which transcends exposition and news-cuttings to evoke a sense of loss that is poetically, humanly affecting.”)

 

Independent on Sunday, May 15, 1996 (“…Ex-Yu” by Goran Stefanovski, centres on a young woman in the former Yugoslava, questioning those who were present when her father commited suicide. These plays forcefully locate the principle of Nuremberg – that individuals are personally responsible for war crimes – in the present day.)

 

Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, May 11, 1996 (“…while Goran Stefanovski’s contributes a haunting, touchingly tender play about a young woman’s grief and bewilderment in the former Yugoslavia”.)

 

Glenn Newey, Times Literary Supplement, May 1996 (“Goran Stefanovski’s piece is the most adept, partly because it lacks that expository ballast of the others, but also because it eschews…mere re-eanctement”.)

 

Sheena McDonald, New Statesman & Society, May 24, 1996 (“In one playlet, “Ex-Yu”, Goran Stefanovski ratchets our unease. It is a non-partisan and cunning exploration of what doing the right thing means when war comes to your patch of civilisation”)

 

Aleks Sierz, Morning Star, May 24, 1996 (“By far the best is Goran Stefanovski’s “Ex-Yu”, which finds room for humour in its exploration of the horrors of the Bosnian conflict”.)

 

 

1995

 

SARAJEVO,  Undermain Theatre, Dallas, Texas, directed by Naum Panovski

 

Sarajevo is a powerful and searing masterpiece that captures the insanity, sadness, and lost innocence of war. Under the helm of director Naum Panovski, the Undermain’s cast brings beauty and brilliance to Stefanovski’s work, just days before they depart to perform the play at the Ohird Summer Festival in Macedonia.
Hal Karp. The MET, Dallas, Texas. July 1995.

The play works as an elegiac hallucination, never attempting political analysis, but returning again and again to the blank incomprehension that war inspires. In a way, Sarajevo, directed by native Macedonian Naum Panovski, pays grim tribute to the spirit of destruction.
Tom Sime,  The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas. July 1995.

The play as “a meditation and a prayer of hope” for the people of Sarajevo. The point is to get beyond the ideology and understand that these are people living their lives under siege.

Nora Fitzgerald, Dallas Observer, Dallas, Texas. June 1995.

Sarajevo was a prayer for a better world without wars, a world more human and with a human face. Otherwise we will lose both our hearts and minds.
Cvetanka Zojcevska. Vecer, Skopje. Macedonia, July 1995.

The production of Sarajevo, directed by Naum Panovski, performed in front of the St. Sophia church last night was received with acclamations by deeply moved festival audience. It was a production with emotional shining and superb acting.
D.P. Nova Makedonija, Skopje. Macedonia, July, 1995

 

 

1993

 

SARAJEVO, Intercult, Stockholm as an European Co-production, directed by Slobodan Unkovski, performed at the Riverside Studios, London

 

Michael Custow, Independent, 31.3.1993 (“It is unsentimental, pitiless and, in its understated condemnation of Europe’s betrayal of Sarajevo, devastating. It is already a theatrical and civic milestone, created in the harshest conditions”)

 

Time Out, 7.7. 1993 (“Combining cabaret, dance, drama and live music, this is a celebration for the soul rather than the mutilated body of a multicultural city under siege and a lament for what has been lost”.)

 

Sarah Hemming, The Independent, 14.7.1993 (“More effective, though, than any big statements are the telling details, which bring tears to the eyes…It is a complex, rich and very moving production, accumulating details to impart a sense of the horrifying disorientation of war. It contains some fine writing by Stefanovski…)

 

Nicholas De Jongh, Evening Standard, 9.7.1993 (“With black humour and magic, poetry echoing the cadences of T.S.Eliot, in ritualised dance and lamenting song, the city comes darkly into view. Violence is minimal. A half-naked man struggles to stand, each time pushed to the ground. At the end the stage is full of whirling dancers under a fading light, until quite suddenly darkness blots them out. You watch impotent, uncomfortable, appalled.)

 

Sheridan Morley, The Spectator, 17.7.1993 (“The author, Goran Stefanovski, has deliberately gone for fantasy rather than historical or political drama and the result is inevitably both dreamy and whimsical: but in there somewhere is a lament of considerable poetic power for a  lost city”.