CRNILA 2005 OF SLOBODAN UNKOVSKI
Crnila 005 is a play of the director Slobodan Unkovski with the scene designer Meta Hočevar, the actors Jovica Mihajlovski, Toni Mihajlovski (Unkovski has been cooperating with Hočevar and J. Mihajlovski for a long time, and with T. Mihajlovski on his latest two plays), Nikolina Kujača, Emil Ruben, Jordan Simonov, Oliver Mitkovski and Daniela Stojkovska, the costume designer Jelena Proković; it is a production of Macedonian National Theater – Skopje.
#1 The play is based on Crnila – one of the most staged plays of Kole Čašule: this is its 15th staging in Macedonia (and it has been staged in other countries as well), after its first staging (also on MNT stage, on 26 January 1961, directed by Ilija Milčin). In memory of the first staging, the play of Unkovski has the homage to two actors Petre Prličko and Ilija Džuvalekovski, who played Fezliev and Lukov there, which is a rare occasion of any honoring of persons from the past and Macedonian theater. Unkovski introduces them in the current play with an exceptionally attractive style: the characters of Fezliev and Lukov are from time to time named as Perica and Ilija by the actors on stage.
What is most important in Unkovski’s play is that he, together with the team with whom he creates it, makes a view on current Macedonian darkness. He makes Crnila 005 in which there is a system of de-reconstruction created: via situations and characters in which terrorism at the beginning of the third decade of 20th century happens. The problems of identity, ecstasy of national feelings, betrayals, powerlessness of any kind, are broken into pieces and re-connected in situations and characters of today, in which he seeks neither heroes nor traitors: only wonderers in their own and other’s darkness. This is a certain proof that Crnila of Čašule is a play that will continue to exist in the future times, in the centuries that come in the future. This is especially true because Kole Čašule is probably one of the few playwrights who could see the disintegration and connection of his work in a radical way in his own lifetime. The complete text is played as a de-reconstruction; it is broken to pieces and connected via the existing as a new whole with a view in which the characters and events are used as if they are from the present.
Crnila is also part of the trilogy of Čašule, where the plays that belong to according to the events (not the time of creation) are Sud (Trial, 1978), Zirolub (1977) and Crnila (1960). These are plays on the Macedonian darkness that he creates according to the principles of the modern art: the action and events overlap, characters are dependant on each other and open in the structure and character. The word is an expression of their twisted minds, their dependence on each other, but on the society as well. In the beginning, the middle of the end is the absurd. The young man in Crnila, upon the order of the Organization and with a motive to kill a dangerous opponent, kills his ideal, the only man that he trusts. In Crnila 005 it is not important any more if it is the revolutionary Gjorče Petrov, what is important is terrorism here and today. Unkovski knows exactly what he wants. He has a clear goal and idea how to lead the heroes through his text. It is a system of work that the director applies especially with the Macedonian actors – a search in oneself. In this process, the idea of absurd becomes tragicomic atmosphere with a cynical and even relaxed relation to politics, assassinations, violence. As a view and rebellion to terrorism and chaos that rule the Macedonian society, politics, cause, in 2005.
The desert that Čašule writes about at the beginning of the play, in Unkovski’s project is an introduction to each scene, just like the replica that is repeated in the conclusion that all darkness in this world has been created for the Macedonians. Although Čašule writes that the event took place in Sofia in 1921, the characters and events of the play are fictional and each similarity with the persons who lived then is accidental and unintentional, in Unkovski’s play the characters are sunk in the darkness of this century, today and here. They are recognized by the events, behavior, style, problems and dilemmas that have become a dark situation of the society with the longest period of transition that everybody is fed up with. Everything on the stage is a scream against the vice that imprisons man in these crazy times. The situation from the Desert in Čašule’s play and the Desert in Unkovski’s play is important. The symbol is in the FOUR WALLS that are determined in Čašule’s desert, in which Unkovski also frames his view on the Desert.
To build/create/play this with the precision with which it is played and to experience it on stage-auditorium relations, the characters of Unkovski depend on each other: everything that they say or do is a reflection of their twistedness, the way of thinking and life in the general image of Macedonian darkness today. The absurd and cynicism are brought to boiling. The main character – Macedonia is what they have in common.
#2 In this particularly planned process, each why has its because. Everybody, literally, thinks. The team functions together. The idea is obsessive for all, and they give themselves up to the implementation. In black-white costumes made according to the latest fashion, the seven actors wage the battles of their personalities through their double games. Jovica Mihajlovski as Lukov, Toni Mihajlovski as Fezliev, Nikolina Kujača as Neda, Emil Ruben as Ivan, Daniela Stojanovska as the Young Man (gender doesn’t matter for an assassin), Jordan Simonov as Hristov, Oliver Mitkovski as Metodi, depend of each other in their interpretations, depend on someone, on something. Together they realize the world that surrounds us, the world that they fulfill with plans and marvelous sensitivity. They think, lie, drink, sniff drugs, fornicate, believe, love, shoot each other, end with their guns in their hands in the water that is made by the dripping of the faucet that is the background of the complete action. The result is a precisely developed and realized play that has its reflection in the individual dependence from the common things.
The essence of the greatness of Crnila 005 of Slobodan Unkovski and the team that implements the idea for its realization is in the joint result that is multiplied by the pleasure that the stage is turned in a space in which they think, and the imagination in it leads to new ideas. There is a strong concept built in it, a system that functions has been realized. Everybody believes and you believe the system according to which that have put together the tragicomic absurd jigsaw of the Macedonian darkness today.
The system of tragicomic absurd stage jigsaw, still has its leaders. The idea is led by the team that has co-operated for a long time: the director Slobodan Unkovski, scene designer Meta Hočevar (Slovenia), and actors Jovica Mihajlovski and Toni Mihajlovski. The others in this team also build in to what they create. Therefore, the result is as it is: precisely planned whole in which everybody is part of the creative team.