THE BEAUTIFUL DAYS OF ARANJUEZ, SLOVENSKO STALNO GLEDALŠĆE, TRIESTE (ITALY)
6th November 2018, Novi Sad Theatre, Large scene, 19 h
(Duration 1, 20)
Text: Peter HANDKE
Director and set designer: Igor PISON
Costume designer: Belinda RADULOVIĆ
Translation: Štefan VEVAR
Assistant director: Gioia BATTISTA
Man: Ivo BAN
Woman: Nataša Barbara GRAČNER
Word of the director
While listening and interpreting poetic words, the viewer in the era of Fast Company is constantly under the impression that poetry is actually a waste of time. But today, such texts are of crutial importance, otherwise human qualities, our humanity, will disappear.
From the press
“Time as one body and one soul, and each alpha and omega cries for eternity”
The Slovenian premiere of the dramatic “dialogue” of the Beautiful Days in Aranjuez by Carinthian author Peter Handke opened a new season of the Slovensko stalno gledalšće. The text was selected and directed by the artistic coordinator of the SSG, Igor Pison, and the protagonists are the leading Slovene theater stars, guest actors Nataša Barbara Gračner and Ivo Ban.
Handke gave his work a simple subtitle “Summer Dialogue”, thus marking the direction of this conversation, without developing and building a scene action – only topics from the life experience of each woman and man.
The protagonists agree that they will spend the afternoon in a conversation about love, which becomes a fundamental and subtle reflection on sharing a life with someone. They embark on the filigree details of this emotional dialogue that questions eternal themes of attraction among the sexes. In 2016, the text was adapted into a film and it was directed by Vim Venders (the film was presented at the Venice Film Festival). The role of the Woman was interpreted by the actress Sophie Semin, the life companion of the writer, to whom Handke dedicated this dramatic dialogue in 2012. The text was originally written in French but through the German translation, Štefan Vevar signed the Slovenian translation. The title is a periphrasis of the introductory verses of Schiller’s Don Carlos: “The pleasant days here in Aranjuez have come to end” a conversation about the past – a dialogue between the Man and the Woman, their summer play in a garden, when they discover memories and feelings of their own and of a universal nature. The Man and the Woman do not have names, the protagonists are completely vague and undefined (at the end of the piece, they call one another Soledad and Fernando); we only know that they have known each other for a long time, their relationship is friendly, rather intimate, so she freely expresses the details of their sexual adventures. The rules of the game are openness and sincerity, the dialogue is not directed towards a pre-fixed conclusion of this relaxed, but intense encounter.
The performance is a real challenge, which relies heavily on the text and charisma of the actors – two outstanding artists from Slovenia. At the beginning of her career, Gračner stood out as an extraordinary force in the performances of the Mladinsko Theater, and then switched to Ljubljana SNT Drama. She is the winner of four Borštnik awards for acting, the Prešeren Fund Award (the highest recognition for artistic achievements in Slovenia) and the Sever Award for acting. Ivo Ban is the former director of the Ljubljana SNT Drama and a respected actor, one of the leading artists of that Slovene theater institution since 1975. He received eight Borštnik awards for acting, a Borštnik ring and a Sterija award. Both actors played in numerous film and TV series.