Director: Saša Božić
Stage Movement Assistant: Petra Hrašćanec
Dramaturge: Dubravko Mihanović
Stage Design: Zdravka Ivandija Kirigin
Costume Design: Marita Ćopo
Music: Damir Šimunović
Lighting Design: Zdravko Stolnik
Language Consultant: Đurđa Škavić
Rehearser: Antonia Mimica
Photography: Jasenko Rasol
Production’s visual identity: Vanja Cuculić / Studio Cuculić
Emma Bovary, housewife: Jelena Miholjević
Charles Bovary, village doctor: Igor Kovač
Rodolphe Boulanger, wealthy landowner: Sven Medvešek
Leon Dupuis, public notary: Filip Križan
Justin, pharmacist’s apprentice: Nikola Baće
Bournisien, the parish priest in Yonville: Ivan Grčić
Lheureux, usurer and salesman: Franjo Dijak
Stage Manager: Ana Dulčić
Prompter: Andrea Glad
First rehearsal: May 9th 2016.
Work continues: September 1st 2016.
Opening night: September 16th 2016.
The duration of the performance: 1h 10min.
‘’The plot is well-known and ironic. He loved her, she loved another man. Nevertheless he loved her, but she again loved another. He still loved her, but she fell in love with someone else, who didn’t even exist.’’ These are the words of young Justin, hopelessly in love with Madame Bovary, at the beginning of Ivana Sajko’s play, based on Gustave Flaubert’s classic novel. Our contemporary author took the characters, situations and relationships from the French and European classic and rewrote the story with the well-known plot and characters. She gave the director and the actors a complex structure which, like in Flaubert’s novel, is driven by passion and love, by the attempts to fulfil an emotional void, by the desire to ‘’breathe’’ outside the cramped bourgeois conventions and to confront financial downfall. ‘’Madame Bovary’’ might lack the head-on attack against the porous social morality and its dark side – hypocrisy as compared to the scandal which the novel caused when it was published in 1856, but the question ‘’Oh why, dear God, did I marry him?’’ still resonates with argumentative and dramatic fervour. After directing the emotionally charged ‘’Deserter’’, based on Ranko Marinković’s ‘’Gloria’’ and after dialoguing with Ibsen’s ‘’Nora’’, Saša Božić, the director uses ‘’Madame Bovary’’ to emphasize the ‘’contemporary nature of her story’’ creating a play which ‘’centres around debt and boredom’’.
‘’You are in for some serious flambéing of Flaubert in Gavella. In cooking, flambéing is a procedure in which alcohol is poured over a dish and ignited before serving. The result is not only spectacular, but delicious as well, because the ignited alcohol adds flavour to the dish. The procedure is used when preparing mussels, kebab, stakes and pancakes and the duo of authors Božić/Sajko successfully applied it to ‘’Madame Bovary’’. (...) This sort of an approach perfectly justifies the casting of Jelena Miholjević in the role of Emma.’’ (Mia Mitrović, 24express)
‘’Gavella’s audience, traditionally more inclined to dramatic pathos and emotional roller-coasters than to existentialist dead-ends and utter exposure, will love this tragic love story told with the right amount of subtle moderation.’’ (Bojan Munjin, Novosti)
‘’Gavella’s ensemble boldly brought to life a different Emma Bovary. The role is brilliantly played (and sung) by Jelena Miholjević. She emphasizes the sensuality and confusion of a woman, who lives (and dies) for love, unaware what kind of love that would be.’’ (Bojana Radović, Večernji list)
‘’Not only did the clear profiling of different men who want and usually manage to get something (not necessarily sexual) from Emma and their transformation into a common male chorus, which will condemn her for precisely the things they have themselves individually taken from her require acting skills, but movement was essential as well. Petra Hrašćanec managed to put the movement in the service of transforming those men into the force of collective physical theatre. The diversity of acting styles, along with a lot of music and an appropriately appealing stage design, enabled the director, Saša Božić to show, in the best way possible, in ‘’Madame Bovary’’ once again, all of his inventiveness and inexhaustible creativity. (Tomislav Kurelec, Kazalište.hr)
‘’To put it briefly, the play is emotional and pleasant. The actors are relaxed and focused. The plot is not a simple mimesis, but rather a much more complex arabesque woven out of premonitions, impressions and sentiments, the manifestations of which are gradual and delayed.’’ (Tomislav Čadež, Jutarnji list)