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Mile Korun

A Holy Man

Original title: Sveti mož
Post-bourgeois playlet
First production


Matjaž Zupančič

Opening night

2 December 2017
Main Stage


145 minutes inc. interval


Creative team


Darja Dominkuš

Drama Igralec: Darja Dominkuš | odpri ustvarjalca


Janja Korun

Drama Igralec: Janja Korun | odpri ustvarjalca


Bjanka Adžić Ursulov

Drama Igralec: Bjanka Adžić Ursulov | odpri ustvarjalca


Vanja Novak

Drama Igralec: Vanja Novak | odpri ustvarjalca


Tatjana Stanič

Drama Igralec: Tatjana Stanič | odpri ustvarjalca


Andrej Hajdinjak

Drama Igralec: Andrej Hajdinjak | odpri ustvarjalca


Joži Šalej

Drama Igralec: Joži Šalej | odpri ustvarjalca


Silva ČušinDrama Igralec: Silva Čušin | odpri igralca

Erika Aškerc née Kopitar, entrepreneur

Vanja PlutDrama Igralec: Vanja Plut | odpri igralca

Melita Prešeren, servant

Saša PavčekDrama Igralec: Saša Pavček | odpri igralca

Magda Šturmhalter, Erika's friend

Barbara CerarDrama Igralec: Barbara Cerar | odpri igralca

Vera Aškerc, Erika's older daughter

Pia ZemljičDrama Igralec: Pia Zemljič | odpri igralca

Nina Aškerc, Erika's younger daughter

Jurij ZrnecDrama Igralec: Jurij Zrnec | odpri igralca

Žan Govekar, neighbour

Gregor BakovićDrama Igralec: Gregor Baković | odpri igralca

Emil Strošek, painter

Gorazd LogarDrama Igralec: Gorazd Logar | odpri igralca

Dr. Herbert Pohlin, Vera's fiancé

Aleš Valič

Evgen Aškerc, Erika's husband

Primož Vrhovec

Gorazd Aškerc, Erika's son

Rok ViharDrama Igralec: Rok Vihar | odpri igralca

Jaka Čop, local journalist

Gregor BakovićDrama Igralec: Gregor Baković | odpri igralca

Olaf Rasmundsen 1, Interpol's agent

Jurij ZrnecDrama Igralec: Jurij Zrnec | odpri igralca

Olaf Rasmundsen 2, Interpol's agent

A new play by Mile Korun, stemming from a tradition of bourgeois drama, presents a small close-knit community living in a bourgeois flat with a parlour, a samovar and conventional bourgeois rituals. However, its members are totally devoid of purpose and utterly disoriented. A family story is punctuated by postmodernist, absurdist and ludic dialogues oscillating from intimate intrigues to political schemes. As the playlet progresses, the motif of an allegedly holy man becomes noticeably present, turning each consecutive scene into a powerful metaphor of one’s feeling of being lost and bereft of any guidance in contemporary society. In this unusual play bursting with comic elements and surprising rhetorical twists, a holy man, resembling a kind of Slovenian Godot, features as an eccentric MacGuffin, constantly implicated in the plotline as an object that governs and directs the action. What is more, the characters of the play attach a certain importance to his missing or non-existent presence, despite the clues of his arbitrary presence and fragmented identity, attributed to him. A Holy Man is a tragic comedy with a well-defined ideological angle. It uses irony to express a disastrous absence of any contemporary neoliberal stance on political and social issues, as well as the loss of moral fibre, crushed by the capital.

Admittedly, it may appear at first glance that Korun ridicules the staleness and emptiness of a (post)bourgeois society. However, his dissection of human psyche is meant seriously. In this context, an acute problem occurs that the staging will not evade, namely, the absurdity of one’s search for purpose that constantly evades the protagonists of the play. Therefore, a bourgeois parlour, in which the play is set, should be interpreted in a broad sense. It is by way of the famous Nietzsche’s metaphor of »the church without God« ̶ i.e. a sanctuary, from which the saints have fled long since ̶ that one is able to enter a contemporary capitalist and post-bourgeois society, mounting a picture of a holy man on the wall as a result of its private, individual and grotesque needs only, or else, arising from its mental phantasms in the realm of St. Neoliberalism.
Matjaž Zupančič