It Won't Be the End of the World
Ivana Karanfilovska Ugurovska
Oliver Mitlovski (music adaptation);
Dimitar Masevski (song "Magdalena")
Language coach for Macedonian language:
Premiere September 2021 Sarajevo War Theatre SARTR
Premiere November 2021 Macedonian National Theatre Skopje
Duration: 70min without intermission
THE END OF THE WORLDS
When the script of the play called There Will Be No End of the World was being written in 2018 simultaneously with the play under the same title being staged at the National Theatre in Mostar, we used to live in a completely different world. Perhaps, it was not exactly completely different, but at least it was familiar to us, burdened by the problems passed from one generation to another; we were more or less habituated to live and deal with them in our everyday life or we could ignore them. We call it a normal world now although, then, not much of it could have been characterized as such. However, given the change the world has experienced over the last year and a half at the macro level, it is logical that the past seems normal to us. It’s just because the world has been affected by the global problem. Otherwise, if the pandemic did not have that scale, we would still experience this world differently, each of us from our own perspective: some of us would consider it normal, and some of us might think it’s extremely disturbed and abnormal. The proverb “Misfortunes never come singly” is evident in the growing number of natural disasters: fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes... As if the Earth has awakened, so it’s taking revenge on humanity for all its arrogance and selfishness. The phrase “The End of the World" has never been more present in the media, as well as in our everyday, ordinary conversations. The fear of general downfall of the planet seems to have made all those small, individual “Endings of the Worlds” insignificant.
Both the play and the performance are dealing with it exactly – the breakdown of intimate worlds. All three characters carry ruins of their own world under their skin. That is, the world they imagined for themselves, fought for it, built it, or thought it was waiting for them and the only thing they had to do is to meet it... Gathered under the roof of their house, where destruction of their common family world took place, they reveal their individual breakdowns to each other. More precisely, Masha and Nina face each other going through a lot of pain, mutual accusations and anger; while the Father, due to a serious illness, is emotionally and mentally completely excluded from reality – his world is broken and thus immersed in pieces in a completely different kind of reality, which neither he, nor anyone else, can control. As if they have survived the apocalypse. Masha and Nina are looking for a way out of the ruins of the old world so as to build a new one on its foundation. In order to do so, they have to remember, face with, and put aside all that their old world used to be. In that process, they will both have to “peel off their skin” and strip naked.
Sometimes, the only consolation is the fact that people can endure much more than they think they can. Nina and Masha have showed great strength in enduring hardships in spite of having to move on.
When the play script was being written in 2018, I could recognize the end of the world at every step of the way – as I would walk down the street, sit in a café or in the park, travel by bus or train, euphorically jump at a concert, dance in a club, or simply stand and watch. The end of the world seemed to me like a permanent process that goes hand in hand with development and progress. We all carry our own “end”. And that particular end is no less important than the end of the entire world. So, the history teaches us – the world will always exist in a certain form – with or without us. Therefore, while we still can, let’s tell stories about us – not only about our individual strength, but also about how much we need other people so as to create a new, stronger intimate world, in which we will not be afraid to talk about our breakdowns. They are here to give us the strength to start all over again.
Adnan Lugonić, Playwright
Award for Best Actress (Darja Rizova) - International Theatre Festival "ZiviFest" Zivinice 2021
Award for Best Actor (Saša Handžić) - International Theatre Festival "ZiviFest" Zivinice 2021
Special Award for Best Actress (Džana Džanić) - International Theatre Festival "ZiviFest" Zivinice 2021
Special Award for Best Director (Nina Nikolikj) - International Theatre Festival "ZiviFest" Zivinice 2021
The moment you hear the first line being uttered on the small theatre stage which, in the form of a space, is meant to represent and resemble our so-called home, the one that fulfils all our everyday needs, but with universal functionality, you feel completely overwhelmed by the play script of the young author Adnan Lugonic, which, even with no additional effects, totally stripped off and completely essential, leads you through the characters of one family – a father and two sisters, while the atmosphere, created by the young director Nina Nikolic, consists of authentic life tension and a big secret that are inevitable part of the real life situations, whereas in the modern theatrical realism, they may not often surprise you or skilfully guide you through the labyrinth called life.
It’s all about life on stage, the family life, because life itself obviously writes stories and it is this particular story, which seems to be cut out of life with invisible scissors and put on stage. It’s about life that probably hurts most, the family life, which may remind us, as viewers, of the family values and flaws we have forgotten or suppressed, due to social circumstances. That’s why theatre is here to remind us.
Accordingly, as we are trying to cut off our ancestral roots, without which, unfortunately, we obviously cannot survive healthily in social circumstances or remain successful and prosperous, we can see all the characters of this family who are, in a desperate or tragicomic way, striving to assemble pieces of the broken glass which symbolizes their broken and dysfunctional family, that are related to the life cycles, to the past traumas, to the physical advantages and disadvantages at every age.
Situations of dramatic conflict, when all three characters collide with different individual traumas, have been resolved in a sophisticated and modern way, without excessive tone of aggressive emotion, which is frequently present in the situations of conflict in many contemporary theatrical performances, so that the characters become the types who convey the message: we should all live in the present, no matter if it makes us successful or not.
The father character (Sasha Handzic), as the backbone of the family, is a typical example of a limited person in terms of his psycho-physical condition, which depends on how the others treat him; the character of Masha (Darja Rizova), who has inherited family responsibilities for her father despite her individual dreams for the future; and the character of her sister Nina (Dzenana Dzanic), a typical example that everyone has the right to life having responsibility for it: all these characters, in a peculiar and authentic way – as antagonists, defend their life thesis and conduct their lines perfectly, reason with each other, not interfering in other character’s territory. This is clearly a smart selection of cast guided by the director.
It all has been wrapped up in realistic and sound images by the director, but in the minimalist manner in which she immaculately conducts the so-called atmosphere of home, with a background sound, as well as with a typical painful and family picture (realistic) where everyone gathers trying to stay together and create an unreal fairy tale. This kind of reading of the script allows you to focus on the playwright and the acting, not extorting any emotions from you, because they are to a great extent expressed by the playwright himself, honestly experienced and properly conveyed by the entire creative team.
First-class actress at Macedonian National Theatre – Skopje