The Doll Ship

Milena Marković

SRPSKO NARODNO POZORIŠTE / SERBIAN NATIONAL THEATRE

Directed by Ana Tomović

One of the most successful and most original Serbian productions of recent years, this is the unusual, poetic and emotional story of several characters who pass through the world of well-known fairytales (Rapunzel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Hansel and Gretel etc.). However, the play’s heroes are no longer children, and they perceive the fairytale world differently. Their journey is full of clashes between the grotesque and the tragic, and becomes something of a rite of passage into the adult world. The original directorial approach creates a production full of reversals, musical dynamism and excellent performances.

Serbian National Theatre, Novi Sad (Serbia)
Directed by: Ana Tomović

Dramaturgs: Vuk Ršumović, Svetislav Jovanov
Set: Ljerka Hribar
Costume Designer: Momirka Bailović

Composer: Darko Rundek
Choreographer: Saša Krga
Producer: Elizabeta Fabri
Sound Designer: Marinko Vukmanović

Cast:

Little sister, Alice, Snow White, Goldilocks, Thumbelina, Princess, Woman, Witch: Jasna Đuričić
Mother (of Woman), Mama Bear: Draginja Voganjac
Big sister (of Woman), Gretel: Milica Grujičić
Doc, Papa Bear, Frog: Radoje Čupić
Grumpy, Hunter: Nenad Pećinar
Dopey, Baby Bear, Eaglet, Eagle, Hansel: Radovan Vujović
The Musicians: Ksenija Bašić, Vanja Jakovljević/Saša Januzović, Lazar Novkov/Dragan Mirković, Ištvan Čik, Siniša Mazalica

Premiere September 24th 2008

The performance lasts 1 hour 25 minutes

This production is part of the project “The Future of European Drama Theatre – Tradition and Experiment in the Visegrad Area”.

The Doll Ship – The play is composed of a prologue and seven scenes, connected by songs. Most of the scenes have been created as original versions, paraphrases or pastiches of traditional stories. The heroine changes her name in each of these scenes: Little Sister, Alice, Snow White, Goldilocks, Thumbelina, the Princess, Woman and Witch.

This jigsaw puzzle of classic fairytales does not, however, resemble the world of a child’s imagination, but a surreal, nightmarish maze through which the main character wanders for her entire life. Milena Marković once again explores the position and role of women in the contemporary world. The production, directed by Ana Tomović, won the Grand Prix at Sterijino Pozorje 2009, while the play itself won the award for best play at the same festival.


…the key to understanding the author’s dramatic method can be found – although only to a certain extent – in her poems. On one hand the play contains unusually constructed lines that correspond to the apparent roughness and rawness of her verses, as if they were exact replicas of everyday talk (…) while on the other hand there is the author’s ability to destroy particular elements of reality from the inside in an original way, and remodel them (…).

In this drama we can recognise what we all (consciously, or more often unconsciously) search for; we can become entangled in the obscure ground waters of psychoanalysis, we can be amused by the Jungian revelation of the reverse side of archetypes, we can read in them interpretations of the paths that new European drama has found into its scenes. However, such interpretations will surely chip away the poetic power of this drama – as always happens when we try to interpret good poetry.
Aleksandar Milosavljevic


In her play – fourth in the order of appearance – Milena Marković researches both the possible profile of a typical “heroine of our time” and one of the most popular conventions and the most difficult for thestage setting, that of the fairy tale. The Doll Ship is a dramatic text in which the tragic, farcical, and grotesque intermingle; since this drama is at the same time an original “journey” through Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Goldilocks, Hansel and Gretel and other classic fairy tales of the western tradition, this project blends modernity of expression and first-class writing.
Svetislav Jovanov


The richness of the directorial palette and the eruptive force of the play are unthinkable without the charismatic Jasna Đuričić. She imbues everything with energy and furiously carries the entire crew with her. As the multi-heroine of the piece, she is the embodiment of mature hypersensibility and a dancing nymphet whose imagination is hard to satiate.

RTS, News 2


Ana Tomović ( born 1979) – Earned her degree in theatre and radio directing at the Faculty of Performing Arts in Belgrade. Directed: Creeps by Lutz Hubner (Belgrade Drama Theatre), Duck by Stella Feehily (Kraljevo Theatre), Halflife by Filip Vujošević (Atelier 212), The Return of Casanova, after the novella by Arthur Schnitzler (Serbian National Theatre), Monogamy by Stella Feehily (Sombor National Theatre), the auteur project Trtmrtživotilismrt (Belef 2007), Norway Today by Igor Bauersima (co-production between Belgrade Drama Theatre and Krusevac Theatre). Winner of best director at Joakimfest in 2005 for the play Duck, and participated in Sterijino Pozorje in 2006 with the play Halflife. The recipient of the Goethe Institute scholarship for an academic stay at the “Thalia Theater” in Hamburg in 2008.


The Serbian National Theatre Novi Sad – The roots of the Serbian National Theatre reach back to 1861, when the decision to found the Serbian National Theatre was made. Novi Sad became the cradle of Serbian theatre, and was with good reason named the “Serbian Athens”. The theatre’s actors were also cultural missionaries, who had a fundamental influence on the cultural identity and conscience of the nation. The principal aims of the Serbian National Theatre are to promote and preserve the national and international theatrical and cultural heritage, and to present the most valuable contemporary creative practice. It therefore stages large, ambitious productions. The Serbian National Theatre has represented Serbian culture throughout the country – having played in more than 300 venues with around a thousand performances – and abroad. The theatre has presented its work – and gained many awards at the main festivals in Serbia, and also at many European festivals. The Serbian National Theatre is a member of the European Theatre Convention, a theatrical association of 32 European theatres. At the same time, it is one of the initiators and co-founders of the international theatre festival Theatre Without Frontiers.