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45th Week of Slovenian Drama

Comedy about the End of the World

Prešernovo gledališče Kranj

"Majerhold: This is not a time for farce. Reality requires earnest dramas.
Joe Orton: Reality is a farce. Where have you been living until now that you don't already get that ?"

Comedy About the End of the World attracted me immediately because of its metaphorical actuality and ironic worldview and human activity. The end of the world is at the door, banging on it threateningly. And the actors in the Comedy are thinking how to make some money out of it.
(Janez Burger)

Comedy About the End of the World is a farce about a farce, inhabited by another farce. It’s a farce, just as our reality is a farce, although, as its hero articulates, "it’s not time for farces. Reality requires earnest dramas." Reality requires, as the author accurately detects, for us to ask about the end of the world, to ask if we should plant our own vegetable garden or continue to grow grass and weed – and deal it ... This is exactly what four characters – all marked with their own imaginary theatre reality, yet all easily recognisable from our immediate reality – are asking themselves at the edge of a town in a house with a neglected garden, on an almost Beckett-like setting. The subtenant Joe Orton, an unrealised playwright, Elvira, the owner and an unrealised actress, the new subtenant Majerhold, an environmental scientist under cover, and Konjevič, a man with various made-up identities, cannot agree on the purpose of the garden and saving the world and so the author’s anything but optimistic drama forecast of the method of solving society’s current problems at the threshold of the end of the world lets us know clearly that in the battle of principled innovators and conscienceless money-makers just as often before and despite the apocalyptic predictions the latter will win. Besides that, this play, with skilfully written dialogues filled with aphorisms and clever word plays makes us ask what is real in it, and in general real in the first place, who is genuine and who’s hiding behind a mask and above all, is the end of the world the approaching reality or simply a backdrop to a battle of different interests, a battle where both revolutionary scientists and exploitative profit makers are all in hiding Comedy About the End of the World takes a fresh approach to dealing with the most burning global-local topics and vividly depicts the state of the spirit at home and abroad, while giving us the impression that the whole world’s just a stage. Thus, we’ll never learn the answer to the title question from tenant Joe Orton’s never written play: "Why did all the fucking values fail?"
(from the Grum Award jury statement)

Writer, playwright, essayist, editor, translator Evald Flisar has received the Prešeren Fund Award and Župančič Lifetime Achievement Award. His work has been translated into twenty-three languages, among those English, German, Czech, Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Malay, Marati, Indonesian, Nepali, Icelandic, Spanish, Turkish, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, etc. His plays are regularly staged in professional theatres all over the world (in just the last two years, they’ve been staged in Austria, Belarus, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Taiwan and Japan). The Prešeren Theatre Kranj put on the baptismal performance of his play Nora Nora in 2004 and of his play Aquarium three years later. Both were directed by Dušan Mlakar.

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