International Tours of the SNT Drama Ljubljana

In the past few years, the most notable international tours by the SNT Drama Ljubljana in terms of geographic distance were those to festivals in South Korea, Colombia and Belarus; in Seoul and Bogota, their respective capitals, Drama toured twice, and in Minsk three times. Other international tours included festivals in Mexico, China, Finland, France, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and guest performances in various theatres in Austria, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. A dozen of stagings, produced or co-produced by the SNT Drama Ljubljana, diverse in terms of genre and performative styles, have been enjoyed by dozens of thousands of viewers at dozens of international theatre venues.

During our jubilee season 2017/18, marking the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Ljubljana Dramatic Society, the SNT Drama Ljubljana featured prominently in the international arena, leaving an indelible impression in terms of connecting Slovenian and world theatre. The internationally praised Faust, a coproduction of Drama and the Ljubljana Festival, the late director Tomaž Pandur’s last staging, inaugurated a new theatre venue of the Performing Arts Centre at the University of Guadalajara (El Conjunto de Artes Escénicas de la Universidad de Guadalajara) in November 2017.  In Mexico, we celebrated its 60th repeat performance totalling more than 30,000 viewers in just two years since the premiere. Furthermore, The Bible, the First Attempt directed by Jernej Lorenci was successfully presented at the 51st  Bitef – Belgrade International Theatre Festival,  Serbia. The celebrated and internationally praised The Iliad, a co-production of Drama, Ljubljana City Theatre and Cankarjev dom, directed by Lorenci impressed the audiences of the 24th Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Romania. In October 2017 it won a standing ovation at the 7th TEART International Forum in Minsk. Our tour in the Belarusian capital was generously supported by the internationally successful Slovenian company Riko, fostering business and cultural links between Slovenia and Belarus for many decades. Previously, Riko sponsored the SNT Drama Ljubljana presentation of The Crazy Locomotive directed by Lorenci at the 4th TEART International Forum in Minsk in 2014, and Shakespeare’s Macbeth directed by Igor Pison in 2016. In April 2018, The Iliad was presented at the MITEM International Festival, organized by the Hungarian National Theatre in Budapest. Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, adapted and staged by Dušan Jovanović was presented at the National Theatre Brno in the Czech Republic. The Wall, the Lake by Dušan Jovanović, directed by Miloš Lolić was presented on the Main Stage of the National Theatre in Belgrade. Ubu the King directed by Lorenci was presented at the SND European Theatre Festival Eurokontext.sk at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava. In December 2017 Ubu the King was scheduled to be performed in Rome at the Teatro di Roma  ̶   Teatro India on the occasion of presenting Jernej Lorenci the European Theatre Prize. Tragically, due to the sudden death of Jernej Šugman, our ensemble member, the tour was cancelled. With the untimely departure of the charismatic figure of Slovenian theatre and film, several of our memorable productions, acclaimed nationally and internationally, passed away never to be revived: Ubu the King, When I was Dead, Yugoslavia, My Country, Democracy!, »Art«. The Iliad and The Bible, the First Attempt remain in our repertoire in his memory. 

In the years 2018 and 2019, we are planning to tour Europe and overseas with several productions. Jovanović’s The Wall, the Lake directed by Miloš Lolić will feature in the main programme of the Sterijino pozorje festival Novi Sad, Serbia. The Little Wire Girl, the opening production of the 5th Drama Festival 2018 and the SNT Drama Ljubljana season 2018/19, directed by Marjan Nečak, has been selected by Aleksandar Popovski for the 58th Ohrid Summer Festival. In the time of printing, there are discussions undergoing on touring the Festival of Mediterranean Theatre Purgatorije, the Split Summer Festival, the New International Alternative and New Theatre Festival Infant, Novi Sad, and Musiktheatertage in Vienna. The Iliad will be presented on the main stage, an ancient amphitheatre, as a grand closing performance of the 58th Ohrid Summer Festival on 20 August 2018, and, at the Festival of Mediterranean Theatre Purgatorije a later date. Following the invitation to a prestigious festival, organized by the Russian Federal state-funded cultural institution Rosconcert, Cankar's The Serfs, directed by Janez Pipan, hailed as one of the best productions in Slovenia in recent years by critics and audience alike, will be presented on 15 November 2018 on the Main Stage of the famous Alexandrinsky Theatre, fully titled as the Russian State Academic A.S. Pushkin Drama Theatre Saint Petersburg. Faust, a co-production of the SNT Drama and the Ljubljana Festival, returns to a theatre and festival circuit of Latin America and Asia in the upcoming season. Mexico City, Santiago de Chile, Shanghai and Hainan in China are some of the distant destinations that would like to host Faust in the future, and so would cities closer to us, such as Rome, Budapest, Kielce and Constantinople. In the coming seasons, the SNT Drama Ljubljana, one of the founders of the Association of the Balkan National Theatres, envisages a potential for various guest performance exchanges with national theatres of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Turkey and Greece.

Our international listings are a proof that many of our productions continue to spark great interest of festival and theatre selectors. It needs to be pointed out, however, that it would not have been possible to carry out these tours, in spite of a warm international welcome and appreciation, had we not enjoyed a great understanding and financial support by the friends of theatre from the world of business, festival producers and sponsors. If we relied on public funding in Slovenia only, we would not have been able to travel to Colombia, South Korea, China, Finland, Belarus ... Many of our success stories that have resonated in Slovenian and international media in the past few years would have never been possible to happen. Therefore we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to all who have supported us and continue to support the international tours of the Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana.

 

 

 

 

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