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Kingdom of Heaven

Epica Balkanica


Jernej Lorenci

Opening night

26 September 2017

180 minutes

National Theatre in Belgrade and Bitef Theatre, Srbija

Director Jernej Lorenci
Dramaturg Matic Starina
Set Designer Branko Hojnik
Costume Designer Belinda Radulović
Composer Karmina Šilec
Choreographer and Assistant to Director Gregor Luštek
Lighting Designers Miodrag Milivojević, Branko Hojnik and Dragan Đurković
Assistants to Director Tara Manić, Jug Đorđević and Rastislav Ćopić
Language Consultant Ljiljana Mrkić Popović
Executive Producer Jovana Janjić and Milorad Jovanović
Producer Natalija Ignjić

Olga Odanović
Nataša Ninković
Nada Šargin
Hana Selimović
Branko Jerinić
Nikola Vujović
Bojan Žirović
Milutin Milošević
Slaven Došlo

A co-production of two Belgrade theatres which premiered at the 51st Bitef Festival, Kingdom of Heaven is the first staging by the acclaimed Slovenian director Jernej Lorenci in Serbia. Having dealt with staging of epic poetry in his previous productions (The Iliad is indisputably one of the highlights of his directing career), Lorenci and his creative time took a deep plunge in Serbian epic poetry, since Lorenci is interested in archetypes typical of both Serbian and other cultures, and in the dichotomy of two roles only, the one of the hero and the victim, deprived of the possibility of identification with a more balanced existential position. In the course of the performance, the actors become story tellers narrating tales about various topics, such as the source of evil, hatred and revenge, the attitude towards the position of heroism and the victims, the pursuit of love and belonging, sadness, and their connection with our times. The result is a complex staging that neither glorifies the past nor minimizes the present. The complexity of every single historical moment obscures the ability to consider it in its totality. This is why the staging of Kingdom of Heaven does not present any judgments, but the beauty of the story, the need for narration, the danger of appropriating stories that are not ours, and the excessive identification with a specific topic, content, or phrase.

»Not only does the brilliant acting ensemble, but the entire creative team, shield Serbian epic poetry against abuse, they do bring it back to us, thanks to the amazingly brilliant acting performances. These represent our mirror which in no way condemns us, but directs us to inspect and question the canons and myths from a personal, honest and modern perspective.«
Sara Radojković, glif, on-line journal of literature and culture

Simultaneous translation into Slovenian and English

Followed by a post-show talk at the Drama Forecourt. The talk will be hosted by Nina Valič and Tin Grabnar.