14 February 2009
The play begins on a humorous note; it continues playfully but soon descends into grotesque and horror and thus comes increasingly close to reality. Through the rhythm of nursery rhymes and playfully banal dialogues words appear such as buy, eat, am not allowed, give, want, and have. Words of possession and people who take, demand, engulf: a mother who stole her wealth, a beautiful woman who guarantees to breed, a gardener who would do anything for the right price, an ostensibly innocent girl who demands to be bought things … and among them the one who has eaten everything, even his name. Insatiable hunger and the limitless desire to possess – through numerous twists and turns that always end the same the play unravels into complete annihilation.
Žanina Mirčevska’s Žrelo (The Gorge) is one the most original Slovenian texts to appear in the past couple of years. It is a humorous, original and bold comment on the globalised world. The author envisioned it as a rags-to-riches fairy tale that sees the protagonist of the story indulge in various pleasures that eventually lead him into serious trouble. Within this framework several Slovene clichés are being explored, ranging from the Slovene obsession with picking mushrooms to the myth of the strong mother, but also scenes and images from a contemporary post-industrial society suffused with the logic of advertising and capitalism.
Žanina Mirčevska is a dramaturg and the author of numerous plays; eleven of her plays have been staged in theatres throughout Slovenia and Europe.