N. V. Gogol
''An entirely remarkable event in two acts'', is the subtitle that Gogol gave to his play. The specific and a bit elusive wittiness of the Russian classic, one of the few that haven't been questioned neither by the realists, nor the modernists, is visible in the very title, and the opening lines by Podkolysin, with the seriously-funny: ''You live and you live until eventually everything becomes sickening,'' introduce a unique character of the writer and his text. We are dealing with a comedy, but the tragedy is intrinsic to Gogol's dramatic mentality and no matter how much laughter he gives us, he cannot pass up the opportunity to speak of man's anxiety, emptiness and loneliness. That is why he was such a wonderful writer, called by Nietzsche ''the founder of modern decadence'', an author over whom, on the 200th anniversary of his birth, the Russians and the Ukranians fought, wanting him ''for themselves'', that is, claiming he belonged precisely to their - and only their - national literature. At first thinking he would become a clerk, because ''it is more useful for Russia'', Gogol fortunately couldn't resist the call of writing, so during his life he travelled the path from being an underestimated outsider to becoming the most famous Russian writer, ending his life in pain and depression, due to which he burned all of his unpublished work, among whom was the second part of the legendary Dead Souls. Though he left this world at the age of only 43, he left behind him enough immortal lines, among whom we can most definitely find those written on the pages of the Marriage.
Mateja Koležnik, the Slovene director who is frequently present on Croatian stages, is always in search of texts with ''wonderfully written characters'', which she most often finds within the corpus of contemporary dramaturgy. In our theatre she has so far directed plays by LaBute (Bash) and McPherson (The Weir), dealing much more with the actor and the character than the concept and the ''director's reading''. That is why, in Marriage, we can expect, first and foremost, a study of character and their relationships, as well as working with the art of transformation in the actor, which will necessarily meet notions such as ''caricatural'', or the ''grotesque'', unavoidable when dealing with Gogol. For he is a writer who ''turns figure into disfiguration and meaning into meaninglessness'', finding in it ''a sarcastic disharmony'', hidden in ''the ordinary people whose soul does not strive for a general beauty, but for minimal social existence''.