Awards given out as Week of Slovenian Drama closes

Kranj – Solo, a theatre production directed by Nina Rajić Kranjac for Maska Ljubljana and Mladinsko Theatre, won the Šelih Award for best production among eight competing productions at the 52nd Week of Slovenian Drama, which closed in Kranj on Friday evening with an awards ceremony.

The jury labelled Solo as “a very brave and theatrically inventive” piece, which is an attempt at improvisation focussing on “what it means to be on one’s own”.

The audience of the festival chose as their favourite a production about Edvard Kocbek (1904-1981), a writer and politician who fell out of favour with the communist authorities soon after WWII.

In Stoletje Bo Zardelo. Primer Kocbek (And the Century Will Blush. The Kocbek Case) was adapted for theatre from the Kocbek monograph written by theatre critic Andrej Inkret (1943-2015).

It was directed by Matjaž Berger for the Anton Podbevšek Teater and SNG Nova Gorica in collaboration with Cankarjev Dom and Božidar Jakac Gallery.

Katarina Morano received the Slavko Grum Prize for best play that has not yet been staged for her Usedline (Sediments).

Written in an almost (hyper)naturalist fashion, the play delves into the remains left behind as it focuses on a family after the death of their mother.

Ela Božič was honoured as the best up-and-coming playwright with her Interpretacija Sanje (Interpretation Dreams), a play about an influencer.

Among a total of nine awards given out tonight was also the life-time achievement Vladimir Kralj Award, which the Association of Theatre Critics gave to dramaturge Alja Predan, an ex-head of the Maribor Theatre Festival.

Over the past 12 days, festival-goers had an opportunity to see eight productions in the competition programme and five in the accompanying programme, selected by Rok Andres.

Andres, a dramaturge, highlighted before the festival the potency of independent producers as well as very diverse forms of narration.

He also pointed out that a large majority of theatre production in Slovenia over the past year was based on modern texts.

Thematically, the featured productions focus on topical issues such as political divisions, lack of solidarity, climate emergency and the sense of an end of history, while questioning what we dare talk about.