The play "Nobelovci" written by Obrad Nenezić and directed by Goran Bulajić was recently performed at Scene 213 in Nikšić.
The script was translated in English and Slovenian and published in Slovenia, 7 years ago. Post premiere revival with new actors happened in March last year and the public was very pleased to see it again.
Young team of actors in their 20's with splendid energy succeeded in bringing us this peace in just the right way. It is set, as the writer wrote it - in the future, present and past tense. The story dissolves the boundaries between urban and rural and hence its placement in Amsterdam.
Characters of this "comical drama" as Obrad describes it, are a scientist scientist – brilliant but humble everyday man - Mihailo Mijčić, his mother Koka and father Mato, a Hungarian journalist Magrit and Van Nistelvan Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
As we enter the story we meet Mihailo and his mother who live in the rented, very expensive house which is under the protection of the UNESCO. The son (played by Jovan Krivokapić) is a very decent, modest young man living in his mother's shadow. He doesn't need luxury, only enough space for his work and another room without mold for his mother who suffers from a bad hip and an even worse spine.
Focused on his new discovery (a self-sufficient robot which acts as a human, as "a University assistant", “capable of reciting Shakespeare's Hamlet") he tries to escape from his mother’s provincial characteristics, annoying habits, constant demands. His character develops as the story goes on. At first he is very calm, dedicated to his own reality, the little universe where the science is his World. But when the problems appear and slowly swallow him he transforms into regular, quasi-urban, vicious man who can't overcome the pressure that his mother and father put him under. Watching his metamorphoses is excruciatingly sad, especially since it is fueled by very good acting.
One day Van Nistelvan comes and tells them the wonderful news that the Dutch Government has nominated Mihailo for a Nobel Prize.
From that moment on, things run out of control. The mother, Koka (played by Ana Vučković) pays more attention to the following events more than to her son, she organizes a party, though he has not won the prize yet. At this time her character comes out and we see that she is a conniving, primitive person who lives in the past, tries to get her revenge for the years she struggled alone to raise Mihailo cleaning the cruise ship while her son was a deck passenger. She run away from the life of the small town of Podgrad and her husband Mato, a smuggler of human and animal organs.
She is very proud of her son, but even more of what she believes to be her own achievement, so much that she has "apprenticeship mother” written as occupation on her business card. The actress, Ana, is very good in her performance, she made everyone laugh with her speech, gestures that are so characteristic of our society. She did it so well, with these little interruptions that audience rewarded her with most frequent applauses. Her task was not easy because she is a young actress in her early 20's and she really managed to personify an ageing woman. She hobbled, she talked like an old lady, she mumbled, spelled some words wrong on purpose to showcase Koka's dullish character, she masterfully caricatured never edging on bad taste.
Nomination for Nobel Prize draws to the story a Hungarian journalist, Margit, who interviews Mihailo for the Family Magazine from Belgrade. Too pushy, coquettish, a woman who works for a hot line to earn additional money, without any good questions or interest in science she falls in love with Mihailo who somehow falls for her charms. As we get to know her, we start feeling sorry for her, and Gordana Mićunović, the actress, does a pretty good job of contributing to that feeling. Her facial expressions change from time to time and reveals her immense vulnerability.
Magrit's best friend is Milisav – Mili (played by Petar Novaković) from Podgrad, who run away from home because his father almost killed him with an axe when he came out as a homosexual. Mili has a double identity. At night he is some kind of hustler and during the day his name is Van Nistelvan, Assistant Minister in the Dutch Ministry of Science and Education.
Under the strange, bizarre circumstances Mili (Van Nistelvan) hooks up by mistake with Mato, Mihailo's father. Mato (played by Emir Ćatović) did not realize that Mili is a man, and the moment in which he finds out is truly hilarious. But that was some kind of divine justice for him because he is a very bad, dishonest, selfish man who showed up after all these years in Amsterdam, uninvited and out of nowhere because his son is now rich . At the end he ends up married to Mili which is a just fate after all the things he has done.
This play, a black comedy, a drama with comic elements reflects reality, everyday life, mentality of people from the Balkans, poor spirit, barbarity, chameleon like transformation in the given matrix. But you can’t escape from your skin, from your manners, the established habitat in which you fit in. The play is like a confession of all people who run away from their home, hoping for a better life, collected stories, diary made up of different experiences. Audience felt their troubles, laughed at the funny bits, recognized the message of the play and rewarded the whole cast with a standing ovation.
The soundtrack was composed by is Rajko Kadović, scenography is signed by Ana Gardašević, while the costumes were made by Jelena Đukanović.
Play was made in co-production with the Theatre of Nikšić and the Cultural Association Zahumlje. It is, probably, best to finish with the words from the writer: "The Nobel Laureates are part of part of society which is the first to attack the innocent, and gives up on those who are guilty. Always bound on a leash of some sort: social, religious, national, political."