Director: Krešimir Dolenčić
Dramatization and Adaptation: Dubravko Mihanović and Krešimir Dolenčić
Stage Design and Costume Design: Valentina Crnković
Music: Willem Miličević
Movement Assistants: Iva Peter Dragan, Maja Marjančić
Lighting Design: Zdravko Stolnik
Speech and Vocal Consultant: Đurđa Škavić
Assitant Director: Morana Novosel
Candide: Enes Vejzović
Cunegonde: Nataša Janjić Lokas
Pangloss: Duško Valentić
Baroness; Preacher; Slave: Jelena Miholjević
Baron; Grand Inquisitor; Eunuch; Martin: Siniša Ružić
First Bulgarian; First Sailor; First Jesuit; Don Fernando; Vanderdendur; abbe; Captain: Franjo Dijak
Second Bulgarian; Second Sailor; Second Jesuit; Cacambo: Janko Rakoš
Paquette; The Queen of El Dorado: Ankica Dobrić
The Bride; The Marquise: Mirjana Majurec
Baron's Son, later His Highness, Anabaptist Jacques;Don Issachar; Brother Giroflee: Đorđe Kukuljica
Old Woman: Barbara Nola
Stage Manager: Snježana Majdak
Prompter at the Rehearsal: Keka Katona
Opening night: April 5th, 2013
Towards the end of his life Voltaire was regarded as the greatest French Enlightement thinker, ''the bravest spokesman of liberty and tolerance of his generation''. But it wasn't always so; during his youth he fled to exile in England, avoided arrest by hiding deep in the country and all because of his ideas, which were boldly advanced and uncompromisingly veracious.
''Candide or Optimism'', a story of a not-in-the-least-good condition of ''the best of all worlds'' is one of the highlights of his oeuvre and we can read it as an offbeat philospohical novel, as a satyrical lampoon and as an adventurous journey of a man on his path to knowledge, in which it relates to works such as ''Don Quijote'' or ''Peer Gynt''.
Human nature is varying and tricky, claims Voltaire, the only constant is our need to survive and to know and the path which we tread is all but straight. Standing up for freedom and tolerance, the versatile French writer comes down particularly hard on all the dogmas and fanaticisms by telling the Church, not at all guilelessly: ''Crush the shameless thing!''... Such content in the case of ''Candide or Optimism'' is accompanied by an eclecticism of form, where unbelievable scenes emerge from one another, often regardless of any unity, for which the theatricality of this text is superfluous to speak of...
After a much more chamber-like production ''The River Takes Us'', with ''Candide or Optimism'' Krešimir Dolenčić, a director of immense experience in building these grand, vivid performances, which pull the viewer onto the carousel of their eventfulness, not letting him catch a breath, is reunited with the ensemble which he knows so well, wanting to take them on this imaginative, unpredictable and playful journey.
'' It's been a while since 'Gavella' Theatre staged a play of such powerful, shared energy. Everyone on the stage are having a good time, among other things... Enes Vejzović brings in just the right amount of naivet? in the title role, but he's also ironic on his way from being the best man in the world to becoming your average sceptic and the rest of the cast are wonderfully on board with him during this journey through illusion. (...) It is possible to stop time and skip centuries. Therefore, picture Gavella's ''Candide'' as an impossible blend of Voltaire and Tarantino...'' (Bojana Radović, Večernji list)
''A successful experiment where Đorđe Kukuljica makes a great comeback... Dolenčić successfully staged an energetic play... Some of the actors are playing multiple roles, which is always a success, because basically they are playing one and the same character, trapped with a same idea in different bodies. Duško Valentić plays Pangloss with certainty... The play does a lot for Nataša Janjić Lokas who plays the third leading role, that of Cunegonde, Candide's destined-undestined sweetheart.'' (Tomislav Čadež, Jutarnji list)
''In his directorial approach and immaginative dramatization (assisted by Dubravko Mihanović), Krešimir Dolenčić puts the emphasis precisely on the adventure as something which can attract even the modern viewer's attention... It becomes clear that the functional costumes of Valentina Crnković, as well as her scenography, whose elements hang above the stage and are lowered when they have to suggest the place of action during the quick rotation of numerous scenes which take place in various corners of the Earth, along with many links to present day, will seek attraction in the original blend of elements from the time when the play was written and present day. (...) Enes Vejzović is brilliant in the title role with his expressiveness which he uses to shape Candide's naivet?... (...) ''Candide'' is Gavella's unquestionable success... (Tomislav Kurelec, Kazaliste.hr)
''The insistance on gag and persiflage has helped some of the actors, most of all Franjo Dijak who is apparently in great form and again enters ''the title race'', though significantly more prepared now.'' (Igor Ruzic, T-portal)
''Fully aware of the contemporariness of Candide, the dramaturge and the director do not blunt the sharp edge of the author's ruthless criticism, nor do they fail his sense of humour. They strengthen Voltaire's diagnosis and case histories with carefully selected, recognizable symbols of hypocritical and hedonistic world turned into a global reality show. (...) Guided by Dolencic's directorial hand, the lead actors: Enes Vejzović (Candide, for whom everything happens in a dream), Duško Valentić (Pangloss the teacher) and Nataša Janjić Lokas (Cunegonde) served as a very good support for that remarkable, dreamy performance, which was helped by the protagonists of each role with their talents and creativity.'' (Andrija Tunjić, Vijenac)