ROBERTO ZUCCO OF VLADIMIR MILČIN
On the stage of the National Theater in Priština the director Vladimir Milčin with several more creators that are often his collaborators in other plays realized Roberto Zucco of the Frenchman Bernard-Marie Koltès (wrote the play in 1988, and died in 1989 as one of the first recognized victims of aids), whose text is assessed as radical and emotional, which is dominant in this play as well. This is the fourth play of Milčin in this theater, while the previous three were made in the eighties of the 20th century. #5 The main character is played by Refet Abazi, and what is very complicated for any actor – this is his second Roberto Zucco: the first one was played in Macedonian in the play of the Dramski Theater in Skopje six years ago (in 1999, as a diploma play of the director Dritro Kasapi).
The team of Roberto Zucco in Priština that comes from Macedonia, besides Milčin and Abazi, also consists of Krste S. Džidrov (stage setting), Marija Papučevska (costumes), Marjan Nečak (music). The other characters, besides actors of the Theater of Priština, are played by young actors who were selected by audition. Together on the stage of the play where only the main character has a name, and all others explanations (mother, girls, father, child, inspector, sister, Madame, guard…) are: Drita Begolli, Gresa Palashka, Aurita Agushi, Mensur Safchiu, Beslim Muchay, Drita Krasnichi, Chun Lajchi, Arta Muchay, Ramadan Malai, Artan Geca, Florie Baloku, Naser Rafuna, Adriana Morina, Fatime Sefai, Blerta Sula and Leonora Mehmetay. They play characters of broken lives, powerless people imprisoned in their misfortune, regardless to which layer of society they belong.
The questions, if you prefer, the crucial ones, on the man who has to destroy the traces of his existence if he wants to reach his purgatory, Refet Abazi as Roberto and the actors of the young generation bring to life through the contrasts with a register of signs in the game, costumes, stage setting elements and music of the team that is fully included in the search.
In his dramatic letters, Koltès establishes the determinants of the new European play in which the heroes are the rejected, violent, emotionally distorted men who speak, are silent, rebel, deny. These are people with traumas who exist between reality and ideals. Because they are, because the world recognizes them, the play of Koltès is played a lot in the last decade (first time in Berlin in 1990), and there was a movie made according to it. In the Anthology of New European Drama entitled MME (WTF)…, whose author if prof. Jelena Lužina, Ph.D. (Magor, 2004, Skopje), which has the title of Dejan Dukovski’s play Mame mu ebam koj prv počna (Who the Fuck Started All This?) as a title, the author says that this anthology dedicated to the new European drama can not miss a symbolic dedication to Roberto Zucco. In the introductory text Theater as a Slap on the Face, she concludes: I tell and prove to my students that this is a play that among other things, manages to announce in a masterful way what (violence) that will happen in the European drama work in the nineteen… I say and I prove that there have been announcements of it before, but there were many reasons for this play of Koltès to be stated by some critics that it functioned as the Hamlet of the 20th century.
This Hamlet of 20th century is played by the actor Refet Abazi for the second time. The interpretation of the same character in two directing concepts is a complex issue for any actor, and the burden of the six past years of Abazi’s life should be added to his current interpretation of Zucco, knowing that Zucco remained the same according to the years when it was written, and played for the first time by Abazi himself. The two elements are resolved by Abazi as Zucco in a way that matches the current view of the character and the totality of the play. The play of V. Milčin is well packed, with an esthetic code that he and Abazi set, but there is also a setting of the team that is in it. Because they worked with creators who meet each other the stage for the first time, and the process of work of the guests from Macedonia, they reach the goal together: the scream between the Heaven and Hell, between the mythical and real, between the earthy and underground. As an urban drama of the man who is marginal for the “healthy” societies, which criminalize the “sick individual”, it opens significant questions: who is the criminal, who are the hypocrites who create murderers-seekers of their own freedom, which is but an unstoppable fall in the abyss!? There are characters on he stage that are produced by those who pretend to be deaf and blind in the implementation of their moral worlds.
#6 On his behalf, the director Vladimir Milčin interprets the author Koltès as a divine prophet who hinted a new and different dramaturgy; further on that Koltès left his will written on the margins of the society and the edge of life; that Zucco is Dionysius of our time, an underground deity torn apart by dead souls, by those whose road to salvation he marked in blood; a slap for the hypocrites and pure; nightmares in which the moral and politely civilized ones reveal themselves ad blind and deaf for the big suffering of this world, which slides more and more to the edge of the abyss… and they refuse to see this slide, this unstoppable slide to the disaster.
So, Roberto Zucco is both Hamlet and Dionysius, two different characters in one, regardless of the place and time they come from.
The difference is part of the current disaster against which the creators of this Roberto Zucco wage their theater battle. The basis is that Roberto Zucco of Refet Abazi is a man-individual who wants to preserve within himself what he thinks of himself. He kills his father, his mother, the inspector and a child. But is he a serial killer!? By killing, he wants to destroy the trace of his existence, to reach himself, his purgatory – the sun. His fall is a search for freedom, for the heavenly space above the world – prison in which the individual heads to disaster. This situation is played by Abazi with sensitivity in the breaking down of this twisted world, and it is produced in the co-play with the other characters. Together they create what the directing of Vladimir Milčin sets and resolves: Roberto Zucco (with the world around himself) to be Dionysius of our times, an underground deity who is torn to pieces by the dead souls of those whose path to salvation he has marked in blood.
Or Hamlet, a king without a kingdom, seeker for truth, the one that everybody deserts.
It is clear that the achieved is a result of the recognition of the idea between the director Vladimir Milčin and actor Refer Abazi. All of their former processes of work (in other plays and with other characters) shape the system of this co-operation at the level of a tandem. But, in the total process of this Roberto Zucco is also the team with whom both of them have a proven record of co-operation: Krste S. Džidrov (this is his second stage setting on a play of Koltès’s text – the first one was made for Dramski, which is a complex work for a scene designer, because he has already expressed his idea on the text), and he has been working on V. Milčin’s plays’ stage settings for almost three decades; the co-operation with the costume designer Marija Papucčva and the co-operation with Marjan Nečak is also important, two creators with whom Milčin and Abazi co-operate.
р.ѕ. The team work in the implementation of these three plays is seen in their differences. It is confirmed that the recognized creators in a team function in their best way. The specifics are in the awareness of the exceptional difference that is implemented with creators who trust each other, interpret the ideas in a joint way and following the others.
Translated by: Elizabeta Bakovska