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After touring to Porto, Pula, Nitra and Marseille, this year's winner of the Best Play Award of the Slovenian Association of Theatre Critics and Theatrologists returns to the Slovenian stage.
Death is coming slowly, with eyes closed.
Blind, slow death.
Pretending it doesn’t know the way, pretending it doesn’t see the blind man.
Although it is difficult to turn attention to the obviousness of the format amidst the spiralling forest of narratives that make up the performance Sad Sam Matthäus, it is important not to ignore that fact that Ferlin’s last (but not the last one) performance of the cycle is still – a solo. This three hours long solo performance, whose production requirements could be compared to repertoire performances created by big institutional theatres, takes Bach’s oratorio St. Matthew Passion as its creative starting point; however, it does not rely only on specific motifs or phrases, but seizes this monumental work in its entirety. The piece is extremely precisely built on the musical and narrative structure of the Passion, but it also avails itself of bold symbolic gestures to intertwine Ferlin’s and Bach’s biography, (auto)fiction and the performative corpus of the artist’s oeuvre. Ferlin’s boundless stage presence is at once integrated and broken in the vortex of meaning, from which not one performance element is left out, and it is especially effective in parallelism with the text written by Goran Frčec. Upon presenting the best performance award at the 2022 Maribor Theatre Festival, the Association of Theatre Critics and Researchers of Slovenia wrote in their statement that the performance’s “multilayered stage language subtly acknowledges the complexity of our lives and of human emotion, skilfully incorporating different performance dimensions that in concert produce a complex web of citations and associations, thus creating a breathtakingly poetic and contemplative stage experience that strikes at the heart of the human existence.”
The performance is part of the Sad Sam Manifestation festival co-produced by Cankarjev dom and Emanat Institute.
Direction, choreography, performance: Matija Ferlin
Dramaturgy: Goran Ferčec
Text: Goran Ferčec, Matija Ferlin
With Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Matthäus-Passion, BWV 244 in a recording performed by Philippe Herreweghe / Collegium Vocale Gent, licensed courtesy of Harmonia Mundi / [PIAS]
Stage design: Mauricio Ferlin
Sound design: Luka Prinčič
Light design, technical direction: Saša Fistrić
Costume: Matija Ferlin
Direction assistance: Rajna Racz
Production management: Maja Delak
Production assistance: Sabrina Železnik
Executive production: Silvija Stipanov
Visual materials: Tina Ivezić, Christophe Chemin, Ana Buljan
Translations: Danijela Bilić Rojnić, Ana Uglešić, Katja Kosi, Maša Dabić
Production: Emanat, Matija Ferlin
Co-production: Wiener Festwochen, CND Centre national de la danse, Istarsko narodno kazalište – Gradsko kazalište Pula
Partners: Mediteranski plesni centar Svetvinčenat, Bunker / Stara mestna Elektrarna – Elektro Ljubljana
With support of: Zagrebačko kazalište mladih
Financial support: Ministrstvo za kulturo RS, Mestna občina Ljubljana, Grad Pula, Grad Zagreb
Solo, duration: 3 hours