What are we all willing to do for success? Is there an ethical line we won’t cross as we pursue our careers? Can we recognise the moment when humanity starts to become lost in the race for money and fame? Are we ready to endure these questions and take a critical look at our life path? These difficult questions are posed by the dramatic work ‘Mephisto’, staged at the Serbian National Theatre by the esteemed director Haris Pašović. The Novi Sad audience will attend the premiere of the play on 12 July, with the second performance set for 14 July.
As one of the most significant projects within the European Capital of Culture Fortress of Peace programme arch, ‘Mephisto’ will be the first play directed by Haris Pašović at the Serbian National Theatre. It is interesting that Pašović started his career right here in Novi Sad, at the Academy of Arts, so this staging of the play in the year of the European Capital of Culture has additional significance. On the stage of the oldest Serbian theatre, the greatest Serbian actors and actresses will gather – Mirjana Karanović, Miodrag Krivokapić, Gordana Đurđević Dimić, as well as a large ensemble of young actors and actresses, led by the leading actor, Aljoša Đidić.
The play ‘Mephisto’ is based on the novel of the same name by the German writer Klaus Mann, a work that was banned in Germany during the Nazi regime and for which the author was expelled from the country. As the director Haris Pašović points out, this play is an exciting story about ambition, it includes many characters, and in a formal sense is a spectacle that best epitomises the Nazi ambition, pomp, and monumentality that they insisted on as an expression of their power.
‘There are characters in the novel who are also artists, but who refused to cooperate with Nazism. Nazism was the ground zero of evil in civilisation. There is no such success, no such ‘art’ that can justify cooperation with the Nazis. The Nazis killed more than six million Jews in gas chambers and caused the death of another eighty million people. They performed experiments on humans; planned to exterminate entire peoples and cultures; starved millions of people to death. They were villains beyond compare. To cooperate with them?’, Pašović said.
In addition to the aforementioned actors, the play features: Lidija Stevanović, Sanja Ristić Krajnov, Strahinja Blažić, Draginja Voganjac, Mia Simonović, Dušan Vukašinović, Stefan Vukić, Milica Grujičić, Dimitrije Dinić, Vukašin Ranđelović, Marko Savković, Lazar Jovanov, Gordana Kamenarović, Milorad Kapor, Miloš Lazić, Alisa Lacko, Tijana Maksimović, Peđa Marjanović, Bojana Milanović, Mina Pavlica and others.
The playwrights are Aleksandra Pleskonjić and Nikolina Đukanović, the set designer is Nebojša Antešević, and the choreographer is a guest from Brussels, Zoltán Vakulya. The costumes are designed by Marina Sremac, the composer is Marko Grubić, and the video clip was made by Enis Čišić.
Tickets are on sale at the Serbian National Theatre ticket office.
The Fortress of Peace programme arch, which will host more than 1,500 artists through almost 150 programmes by 17 July, deals with reflection and critical observation of war conflicts and their consequences, searching for a culture of peace and promoting intercultural dialogue and reconciliation.
Photo: Marija Erdelji, Vladimir Veličković