Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2007
Author: Tena Štivičić
Directed by Matjaž Pograjc

about the production

The production of Fragile! does not focus only on a topical theme dealing with the working migration of young people from the post-communist countries into the UK. It brings to the stage new theatre reality, new approach to the contemporary text, new view on staging space, new relationship between the actors on the stage and also between the stage and the auditorium. This all owes to the original direction and stage design concept and multi-media approach of director Matjaž Pograjc. Pograjc belongs to the most important young Slovenian directors and he is also an experimentalist in the field of dance. As a dancer and choreographer he founded the Betontanc group in 1990 which later became well-known also on European stages. Even if the Fragile! is not dance theatre, the courage by which he approached the contemporary text is not too often seen in drama-making. He had courage to break the fragmentary theatre play by the means of a film montage, live video-projection, animation and film shots. The result of such a theatrical risk is a delicacy for every spectator – it connects the moment of constant formal surprising and emotional power. The hard lives of the characters of the play, these “not-as-such Londoners”, seen with the eye of the camera and created also by the means of a film montage and video-projection, offer real voyeurism and authentic pictures of fear hidden in the deepest inner world of man. The creative team speaks of them in such a way that the story does not lose its honest melodramatic character. When the author of the play, Croatian Tena Štivičić, speaks about her experience in London she may as well speak of the characters of her outsider melodrama: “The life in emigration is like endless balancing above a chasm. To be a stranger in a country which does not support strangers, even though it is built by strangers, means to live in a constant fight with a culture you do not belong to. It means that you will always stay an outsider and will always try to jump over some invisible hurdle…”. Štivičić wrote her drama in English, in imperfect English of emigrants with all its mistakes, authenticity and slips of the tongue in her mother tongue. Thinking in two languages, typical for a stranger, became a starting point for the staging shape of the Fragile! The actors are sometimes actors, sometimes cameras, sometimes they create, sometimes they are created, sometimes

they record emotions, sometimes they bring them. The result of the synergy of the dramatic theme, radical multi-media interpretation of the text and excellent acting is multi- meaning stage metaphor of our era. It is formally complex theatre, not a pseudo concept of the art for art, it is uniquely profound and brave approach to theatre as such.
Romana Maliti

“(…) Actors on a thin and transparent line between acting and distance, stage and cameras, fictional characters and personal investment into them create psychologically supported, linguistically diverse and dramaturgically persuasive characters who despite their differences speak about one and the same thing: everything can be experienced as ´our own´, not because of the common past to which we turned our backs on anyway, but because of the fundamental position of fragility, loneliness and alienation which today no one can escape.”
Petra Pogorevć, Dnevnik, 2006

“The production ironically depicts a TV medium and shows the conscience of world based on the voyeurism of the Big Brother,  and at the same time it thoroughly analyses spiritual illness of those who found themselves in the former Yugoslavia without country, existence and identity. These people are the guinea pigs and experimentators in a big project, the victims and criminals in the world that lost any meaning, the actors and directors of a big show that speaks that the unhappiness and misery can become a mere fun for the others.”
The Jury of the Slovenian National Festival – The Borštnik Meeting



directed by Matjaž Pograjc
dramaturgy: Olga Kacjan
costumes: Mateja Benedetti
set: Sandi Mikluž
decoration: Dare Kragelj, Mateja Benedetti and Sandi Mikluž
set design: Silvo Zupančič
visual effects: Miloš Srdić
computer adaptation and programming: Jasmin Talundžić
lights: Tine Bolha
sound effects: Silvo Zupančič
music: Matjaž Pograjc with team
characters and cast: Gayle: Neda R. Bric, Erik: Sebastijan Cavazza, Mila: Janja Majzelj, Michi: Marko Mlačnik, Marko: Matej Recer, Tjaša: Katarina Stegnar, Marta: Marinka Štern


Matjaž Pograjc (1967) studies in theatre and radio direction (AGRFT, Ljubljana). In 1990, he founded the Betontanc group, with which he develops and researches choreographical and physical forms of stage expression, employing ideologically oriented themes – especially from the world of urban adolescence. Another important part of his research is dedicated to verbal theatrical structure; with the aid of the Mladinsko Theatre ensemble, Pograjc explores a directional concept based on original interpretations of contemporary dramatic texts or the contributions of the acting team. His method of interpretation involves different genres of pop culture, under which he discovers modern archetypal models of a lost civilization, chaos, violence and cruelty.

Materials available

Script of the production: SK, EN

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