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The New Post Office (Mladinsko Theatre − Maska Ljubljana)


SOLO    /    Idea and concept: Nina Rajić Kranjac, Nataša Keser, Benjamin Krnetić, Marko Mandić

Narodno pozorište Subotica - scena Jadran
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Solo is a project where the director and actors meet in improvisation. It’s an attempt to create an event from given cues, drawing on the question of what it means to be alone. Why theatre, what are its uses, how to change your thinking about it through these meetings? This is also the director’s attempt to put herself into the spotlight and to study herself. To make herself both the subject of the problem and its catalyst. The event, created anew in each performance, may be a result of the perpetual need to search for meaning.

NINA RAJIĆ KRANJAC (1991) attracted public attention as a student, especially with the production 1981 (2014) by Simona Semenič, which became the highlight of that season, and was also awarded the Šelig Award at the Week of Slovenian Drama. Her first professional play The Conference of the Birds (Gley, 2015) won her the award for the best young director at MESS, while the entire cast was awarded for collective acting. In 2017, she received her master's degree in theater direction under the mentorship of associate professor Tomi Janežič, with whom she worked as an assistant director on several plays abroad (in Russia and Sweden). Her first performance for an institution was Korun's Counsellor at the Ljubljana City Theatre in 2016. Since then, she has directed in most Slovenian institutional theaters, and her plays have been included in the programmes of the leading Slovenian festivals where they have been frequently awarded. Over this year only, she has received the award for the best performance at the Week of Slovenian Drama for Solo, and her Scorched based on the text by Wajdi Mouawad (SNT Drama Ljubljana) won the award by the jury's decision at Maribor Theatre Festival.

Nina Rajić Kranjac’s Solo is something more than a performance. It’s an experience. It’s a ride. It’s a feast. It’s a four-hour fuck-you to theatrical tidiness. [...] It is self-exploratory and self-critiquing and self-indulgent yet, at the same time, it is also an intensely collaborative, intensely live experience, chaotic and ridiculous and beautiful and moving. [...] It’s hard to articulate the overall impact of the piece, it is a journey, a durational exercise for both performers and audience (past productions of the show talk of a six hour running time and I would have been up for that) a true communal experience, literally feeding its audience. It is intensely theatrical and incredibly exciting. Just really fucking exciting. Theatre as a living art form and a team sport, as an act of trust and risk, breathe and sweat, vulnerability and exposure, chaos and catharsis. (Natasha Tripney, SEEstage)

Here, the audience joins all previous realities, this turns the aesthetics of the political-personal outwards to public-political, and with that, an almost four-hour event manages, despite the prior pessimistic considerations about the purpose of theatre, to incite a collective alliance about the urgency of art. Even more so in these times, under this government, facing this virus. (Zala Dobovšek, Neodvisni)

This is a milestone production for the director, who in her tenth project fuses different positions and settings into a hybrid theatre form, tests what theatre as a medium allows, how to expand it, and how to use it to set newer and newer challenges for yourself. (Magda Tušar, Radio Slovenija)

Solo functions as a love letter to the theatre, to the spectators, to the actors, and to the supporters who formed Rajić Kranjac and brought her to where she is now. The critique of theatre, the questioning of its purpose, and the declaration of a pessimistic feeling of powerlessness when it comes to actually making a difference with theatre gestures at the same time create a theatre utopia that transforms itself into an anti-utopia, becoming a clear expression of devotion to the theatre – whatever it may be. (Brina Jenček, Radio Študent)

To leave one’s comfort zone enables the exploration and the understanding of a different perspective to both sides: to her who wants to experience everything that opportunity offers and lets her be guided but cannot help being herself every once in a while, and to them that guide her. (Nina Gostiša, Delo)

This is a particular 'recapitulation' of her work so far and her relationship to the theatre, which is, in this very point, marked by the eternal question about power(lessness) of art and consequently its point and meaning. The latter is of course elusive, which the production is well aware of, as it tackles its 'subject' on many levels, but with a pervasive ironic stance, as if it were some sort of a teasing case study, which in an informal atmosphere mixes performance art, improvisation and happening, and occasionally veers into more serious tones, but soon relaxes them into a playful string of (auto)biographical  fragments, theatre anecdotes, inside jokes, quotes and self-quotes, but also different formative accents that in one way or another define the protagonist’s personality and work. (Gregor Butala, Dnevnik)

Performers: Nina Rajić Kranjac, Nataša Keser, Benjamin Krnetić, Marko Mandić

Set design: Urša Vidic
Composer: Branko Rožman
Musicians: Petra Božič, Branko Rožman
Costume design: Marina Sremac
Music selection: Nina Rajić Kranjac
Lighting design: Matjaž Brišar
Sound design: Marijan Sajovic
Set technicians: Boris Prevec, Tadej Čaušević
Stage manager: Dafne Jemeršič
Artistic advice: Minca Lorenci
Production management: Tina Dobnik

Photos: Nada Žgank, Mediaspeed

Duration: 04:00


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