Andrej Hing: Burlesque on the Greek
Anja Suša /Madlenianum (Serbia)

Director: Anja Suša
Set-design: Igor Vasiljev
Costumes: Maja Mirković

Dominicos Theotokopoulos-El Greco, painter in Toledo – Nebojša Dugalić
Jeronima, El Greco’s wife – Andjelika Simić
Kargana, Dominican – Ivan Tomić
Juana, Jeronima’s aunt – Jelica Vučinić
Ines, Heronima’s aunt – Elizabeta Djorevska
The Mute – Dušan Murić 

The duration of the play is 90 minutes.


The play Burlesque on the Greek by Andrej Hing was written for television – the media which differs from theatre a lot. Knowing the characteristics of camera and the principles of close-up, framing and other features which the look through the lens enables, Hing constituted his drama around intimate details from El Greco’s life, emphasising explicitly, at the beginning of the play, that his interest didn’t lie with this famous artist as a historical figure, but that the author ‘borrowed’ his name to tell a far more general story about creative process and an artist’s complex emotions while undergoing this process. Although my staging of Hing’s drama doesn’t happen in the space we observe through a camera eye, but a place we have a kind of direct and rather intimate relationship to, in which a spectator becomes integrated into the stage space, i.e. the play space, in a certain way, I tried to maintain the author’s idea of frames or the separation of certain details which are usually invisible for the theatre in the traditional meaning of the term ‘stage-box’, and this is what represents, paradoxically, the backbone of this performance.
I, just like the author, wanted to focus not on the historical moments from the life of this undoubtedly inspiring painter. His exciting work wasn’t interesting for me on the level of decoration, but on the level of a dramatic problem, which, in short, comes down to the problem of an empty canvas. It’s a story about an artist, who goes through the agony of creative impotence, trying to rediscover, in his inner being, a faith in his art and a new inspiration, re-examining his own attitudes towards all the publicly accepted symbols - from family, to church and society in general.    
This is a play about the difficult processes, risks and search almost each true artist undergoes in an attempt to reach immortality. (Anja Suša)

In Hing’s TV play Burlesque on the Greek from the late 1960s, the character of El Greco was interpreted by Ljuba Tadić. With its theatrical staging, on the Bel Etage's stage of the Madlenianum Opera & Theatre, which is especially inspiring for this kind of a play, after the production of Frida Kahlo, we witness the establishment of a series of plays on great painters promoted by this both theatrical and exhibition space. 

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