Merlin or The Waste Land
First Slovene production
7 December 2016
Tankred Dorst, the doyen of contemporary German playwrights, conceived his comprehensive post-modernist dramatic utopia Merlin or The Waste Land in 1981. Using stories and characters originating in the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table he explored the ideas of sovereignty, as well as those of human flaws that commonly undermine the ideal concepts. What is the shelf-life of a Round Table, around which the equal and noble knights striving for the benefit of humanity are seated? Is it possible to arrive at a world of no conflicts and wars at all? When dealing with human condition, why is it always necessary to possess a magic wand? What is the role of the Devil? Does he really possess supernatural powers, or is he only a human alter ego? This and many other issues will arise during a series of fantastic, playful scenes, packed with gallows-humor, ranging from cruelty to poignancy, theatrically lavish and utterly magical too.
When trying to redefine the concept of democracy and liberal capitalism, and look for the best connection between these three words, it might be interesting if we sought for a solution that included magic. It seems interesting indeed to call for help the knights and wizards who would defend »the good«.
Once upon a time we used to have traditional local enemies, who were generally members of other nations and countries. Today, our biggest enemy is considered our own nation. We are split into a progressive and conservative camp, patriots and traitors, believers and atheists, former partisans and fascists. Generally speaking, we are split into two groups according to all possible criteria. We are constantly split into two groups by the referendums on all sorts of issues. Each side is ready to fight for their own version of the truth until the very end. There is no solution. Unless, some kind of Lancelot or Merlin appeared out of the blue, or anyone else for that matter, who would use their magic power to resolve a conflict in which we ended up. Merlin is an epic poem about knights and wizards, and about utopia … We live in hope that the ultimate winner will be the good.