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Ernst Lubitsch

When I Was Dead

Original title: Als ich tot war

World premiere of the stage adaptation


Diego de Brea

Opening night

11 March 2010
Small Stage


75 minutes


Creative team


Diego de Brea

Drama Igralec: Diego de Brea | odpri ustvarjalca


Bjanka Adžić Ursulov

Drama Igralec: Bjanka Adžić Ursulov | odpri ustvarjalca


Joži Šalej

Drama Igralec: Joži Šalej | odpri ustvarjalca


Milan Podlogar

Drama Igralec: Milan Podlogar | odpri ustvarjalca


Alojz Svete


Janez ŠkofDrama Igralec: Janez Škof | odpri igralca

Wife, Maid

Jernej Šugman


Boris MihaljDrama Igralec: Boris Mihalj | odpri igralca

Suitor, Chess player

Jože Šalej/Davor Herceg


De Brea will direct an adaptation of the film When I Was Dead, which the great German director made at the very beginning of his film career in 1916. Starring Lubitsch himself, the film is a burlesque, and had been long considered lost. It was rediscovered in Slovenia in 1994—among materials from the WWI Isonzo Front period—by Silvan Furlan and Lilijana Nedič, both staff members of the then-new Slovenian Cinematheque. The restored film was first screened the following year at the Silent Film Festival in Pordenone, Italy. When I Was Dead is based on the story of a husband who announces his suicide but then disappears; then he reappears, disguised as somebody else. In this burlesque film the plot develops differently from, for example, Pirandello’s famous novel The Late Mattia Pascal. Lubitsch’s hero is a frivolous bon vivant who likes to sneak out in the evenings to go to clubs to play chess amongst men. This annoys his wife, but bothers his mother-in-law even more. One day (actually the middle of the night), she locks him out and the unfortunate husband has to spend the night in the hallway on the uncomfortable staircase. The next day he announces his intention to commit suicide and disappears. But instead of dying, he goes out to taste again the freedom of the bachelor life. However, while “the widow” is in mourning, the husband also becomes tired of idling about. He returns to the wife he still loves disguised as a butler. But his mother-in-law is already looking for a new husband for her daughter; she even brings one home. The false butler does everything to spoil the efforts of the suitor, to mock him, to seduce his wife again, and, finally, to get rid of the annoying mother-in-law. Unusual situations, expressive acting, accentuated facial expressions, gags, and title cards are standard elements of silent burlesque movies. On stage, however, they take on a completely new appearance. We expect that they will be just as amusing as they were in the era of silent films.


Gracious Comedy Award of the 20th Days of Comedy

Golden Laughter Award for the transformation of silent film to theatre at the 35th Days of Satire

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5th International Theatre Festival, Antalya, Turkey


Festival Passages 2013, Metz, France

53rd Ohrid Summer Festival, Macedonia

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