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Dissident Arnož and His Followers

Original title: Disident Arnož in njegovi

Based on the motifs of the play Dissident Arnoz and his Followers by Drago Jančar


Diego de Brea

Opening nights

1 October 2016
Main Stage

29 October 2016
Drama SNG Maribor


120 minutes


Creative team


Drama SNG Maribor

Drama Igralec: Drama SNG Maribor | odpri ustvarjalca


Mojca Kranjc

Drama Igralec: Mojca Kranjc | odpri ustvarjalca


Diego de Brea

Drama Igralec: Diego de Brea | odpri ustvarjalca


Blagoj Micevski

Drama Igralec: Blagoj Micevski | odpri ustvarjalca


Fi Produkcija

Drama Igralec: Fi Produkcija | odpri ustvarjalca


Fi Produkcija

Drama Igralec: Fi Produkcija | odpri ustvarjalca



Drama Igralec: Arko | odpri ustvarjalca


Iztok Vadnjal

Drama Igralec: Iztok Vadnjal | odpri ustvarjalca


Marko MandićDrama Igralec: Marko Mandić | odpri igralca

Andrej Arnož

Kristijan Ostanek

Ignacij Detela

Klemen Slakonja


Zvone HribarDrama Igralec: Zvone Hribar | odpri igralca

Jernej Wolf

Nika Rozman/Mateja Pucko

Ana Wolf

Silva ČušinDrama Igralec: Silva Čušin | odpri igralca/Vanja PlutDrama Igralec: Vanja Plut | odpri igralca

Virgin Mary venerator

Ivo Ban


Boris MihaljDrama Igralec: Boris Mihalj | odpri igralca

Krištof Pajek

Matevž Biber

Mihael Vončina

Vanja PlutDrama Igralec: Vanja Plut | odpri igralca, Mateja Pucko

Virgin Mary venerators

Drago Jančar’s play Dissident Arnož and His Followers (1982) was inspired by the life story of Andrej Smolnikar, a Slovene utopian socialist. Set in the first half of the 19th century, it addresses socio-critical as well as existentialist motifs personified by dissident Arnož, the main character, strongly driven by ethical and revolutionary zeal. But who is the Arnož of our time? A utopian figure, a democratic socialist perhaps, a failed revolutionary, or a narcissistic paranoiac thinking only within the framework of his self? Who is a dissident figure of contemporary world, fighting for his right, and what is the idea that would appear written on his flyers? What does the ruling political power fight against, and what happened to socio-political subversion of those individuals who could be potential successors of Arnož’s mission?
Admittedly, Arnož’s personal vision disintegrates and marks his destiny by a tragic irony; those who turn against him are precisely those who followed him and emigrated with him: his allies, who used to support his idea, one way or another. Their community, however, does not evolve into a society of autonomous and free individuals, and sinks into the banality of order and discipline, defined by production labour and diligence. Arnož and his followers fail in achieving a higher form of rebellious Slovene identity, and become slaves again. This signifies a return to the very beginning, to the labour that enslaves, and to a life, which is distantly removed from the idea of a free society of equal individuals.

Jančar’s Arnož and His Followers is definitely not a play from history, but a highly topical play dealing with a universal state of mind. It is a play about being utterly helpless in a contemporary world governed by absurd mechanisms of control and management, finance and politics; it is a play about a world of anxiety, boundedness, foolishness and hopelessness; a play about a painful bonding of man with his own misfortune, in which one can never be protected against one’s fatal, spiritual fall from grace. It is play about an individual barely scraping and resembling a living corpse in his jail-like insulating chamber cell, bullet-proof and resistant to various attempts of resistance and escape (physical as well as mental), drowning in manipulations and intrigues of political system and power.
Nonetheless, Jančar manages to instill hope by means of his protagonist Arnož and his idea ̶ albeit utterly self-centered and utopian. Yes, it is it worth a try. It is precisely man, despite his fall into a social and spiritual crisis, who bears the only brunt of responsibility, and is ultimately entrusted with the mission to dispel the bleak and the inexorable. Man only can make use of his rebellious and critical forces, human passion, fear and courage, love and hatred. Ultimately, man remains the only hope for achieving the new, the different and the better.
Diego de Brea