Based on Albert Camus "Caligula"
"Gavella" Drama Theatre, Pandur.Theaters, City Theatre Budva, Ulysses Theatre, Ohrid Summer Festival and Mittelfest
Director: Tomaž Pandur
Dramaturg and Assistant Director: Livija Pandur
Set Design: NUMEN
Costume Design: Angelina Atlagić
Original music composed by SILENCE (Boris Benko , Primož Hladnik
Choreography: Ronald Savković
Light Design: Tomaž Pandur
Speech and Vocal Consultant: Đurđa Škavić
Assistant Costume Designe: Marita Ćopo
Photography: Aljoša Rebolj
Translation of the play "Caligula" by Albert Camus: Petar Selem i Daša Bradičić
The co-production which, besides ''Gavella'' Theatre, includes theatres and festivals - Pandur.Theatres, Theatre City Budva, Ulysses Theatre, Ohrid Summer Festival and Mittelfest - has gathered artists from different countries around Albert Camus' title, which served as the template for the portrait of one of the most notorious, but also the most mysterious of Roman emperors, his doubts, anxieties, elations and hopes, but most of all - his obsession with the Moon. As a sort of continuation of Pandur's research into the possibilities of the ''theatre of dreams'' it has been written down: ''Caligula dreamt the empire of the impossible. The empire where the East and the West would merge into one organic whole. The empire where the knowledge and wisdom of ancient Egypt would serve the glory and the greatness of Rome. The empire where people would have as many rights as they had abilities, in that way the freed slave Helikon would have more rights than some senators who were dumber than Caligula's horse. The empire where palaces and temples would float on the surface of the lake and where the Moon would become a part of that enormous, single Empire.''
On the night of the full moon the Croatian premiere of the visually extremely captivating performance based on the roman emperor "who was obsessed with the moon" was hailed by 700 spectators with long applause and ovations. (...) The actors perform in the water on a fantastic stage. Their characters mirror in "Caligula´s lake Nemorenzis" and become shadows of his palaces and temples (the top-notch stage design created by Numen). In this eclectic and simultaneously intimate space, the fellow passengers become Camus and Caligula, the time of Rome, Camus´s time, as well as the concrete time of the duration of the performance. The recording of real-time (the actors are questioning the exact time on numerous occasions) is the most lucid part of "Caligula". The actors´ performance is multiplied and simultaneously "samples" the production of a new truth, questioning media manipulation, as well as the terror and totalitarism of Caligula´s, Camus´s and our own time.
Caligula the visionary observes himself through thoughts on theatre.
Bojana ĆUSTIĆ JURAGA, Glas Istre
What makes Pandur different from many other directors of our time is his love and compassion towards his characters. His Caligula - played by Livio Bandurina - is actually a Little Prince who knows that life is only a passing phenomenon and that the time to realize his ideas will not be granted to him. This Caligula lives his three short years of his reign in a daze oriented towards the Theatre of the Moon, for it is his only real pillar of his desires. In the water of the lake in which he leads his short imperial life, Pandur expounds the reflections of Caligula, which will - perversely, zealously or visionary confronted by the Moon or with a dissapointed look facing the ground - survive untill today. (...) The spectators of Mittelfest where visibly shocked by Pandur´s vision of Caligula. Glued to their seats, spellbound by images of amazing beauty and a deeply moving score, none of the spectators even remembered to open their umbrellas, when it began to rain in several intervals. They followed Caligula´s "game" with the Moon breathlessly, as well as his physical toying with his beloved heavenly body which suddenly, treachously, returned into the sky ... leaving him to his executioners.
Svjetlana HRIBAR, Novi List
Caligula in the Language of Impressions, Aestheticized Despaire and Madness The audience received the performance of the slovene director Tomaž Pandur with great interest and applause. The outstanding Livio Badurina is the prime example of Pandur´s theatre poetics; in this performance he simply stands out not only by the predominant leading role and doubtless efficiency of his performance, but because of his exquisite ability to balance the image of a desperate cool madness, as well as the character´s debauchery spinning between cruelty and frailty.
(...) Numen created the scenography, which represents his empire in heavy and solid cubic blocks of a modern, industrial colosseum where in the frail reflection of the watery base Caligula´s last game with his soul is played out. The director has, with his indispensable theatrical instinct, set the whole performance on a liquid surface, where water is both a symbol (still water does not liberate, but poisons) and an effect that enchants with a fascinating combination of lights, shadows and metallic reflections of splashes. Each element of the performance equally cocreates the narrative whole. The lyrics of the exquisite original music by the duo Silence are set this time to italian, which with its almost sentimental tenderness presents a bitter contrast to the poetic dimension. (...) In the final phase all the basic utopias collapse and the work moves to the third and most current level of analysis. When the moon-balloon flies off from the stage high into the night sky, with a purely simple and deeply poetic effect, after the emperor played with it on the edges of his lances with a tender, childlike naivety and after man has taken his first steps on its surface, the utopia finally devaluates, losing its fatal meaning as the last extreme impossile desire. (...)
Pandur reprieves Caligula, saving him from a thousand year old curse in the name of his cruel idealism and lastly in the name of his theatrical power as director-manipulator of souls, into whom he peers outside of the boundaries of fiction, with a fascinating and also narcissistic tone, especially when he freely expresses his painterly gifts with the magnificent apotheosis of emperor-Venus, the living reconstruction of the ancient roman metopa, after which an actor takes the exclamation out of the spectators mouth: "This is the art of theatre!". Pandur has the ability to soften the beauty and cut at the same time, with
an unextinguishable visual mark, into the anxiety of existential interrogations. Caligula´s passionate search of relief from mental pain in the moment when "people will no longer die, but will be happy", leads to an extreme horizon, to a dramatic destruction of himself as well as his demons in a coreographically efficient and emotionally captivating scene, to the closing laughter, which with Camus adresses everyman: "I´m still alive!".
Rossana Paliaga, Primorski dnevnik
... in the theatrical vision of one of the boldest and most inovative directors of the European stage, Tomaž Pandur. Pandur succeeded to combine and to present the realization of Caligula´s dream of the empire of the impossible. With numerous prominent collaborators he succeeded to present an impressive performance containing all the elements of Pandurian theatre, which has, with the words Rade Šerbedžija (...) also cinematic moments. But the crown of the performance are doubtlessly the actors. (...) An intuitive alliance of the whole cast and their harmony (...) is perhaps the creation of a new theatrical future. (...)
... the western concept of the theatre of the 20th century is too narrow and insufficient to understand or elucidate the infinitely exciting and complex Universe. Pandur felt the same and that is why he reads and decodes the relations of time and space in his performances, throwing light upon the past and predicting the future.
Zdenka Lovec, Primorske novice
Metastases of the Absurd in the Theatre of the World
The most powerful layers of meaning, which are undeniably autobiographic and autoreferencial to the director, concern themselves with the position of the theatre which Caligula creates out of the whole world and which he offers to the world as the formula of salvation. Pandur obviously sets the lunacy of creation before the madness which is generated by the greed for power. On the point of neverending solitude these two forces collide in the attempt to subordinate the world to man, instead of the other way around. "Caligula" is a precise performance, full of powerfull, envigorating energy, vitally rejecting
semantical "labelling", it tries to represent the measure of its own time and space, where it performs and reaffirms the recognition of the absurdity of the world, and proves that the theatre of the absurd did not die out in the nineties as it seemed, but that it only transformed itself into new cultural and artistic forms, the symptoms of which we are only now
discovering in the theatre and in the society at large.
Želimir Ciglar, Večernji list
A Fascinating Journey of the Soul Through History
(...) Water, light, shadow, wind and fire in a combination with impressive music have faithfully depicted Caligula´s constant quest for answers and the meaning of life through his desire to posses the Moon. Caligula is a journey of the soul through history and uncountable wars. An excellent cast has faithfully brought to life his confrontation with the absurdity of existence.Especially Livio Badurina, Sven Medvešek, Hrvoje Klobučar, Dijana Vidušin, Sven Šestak, Ozren Grabarić, Filip Križan, Silvio Vovk, Igor Kovać i Vedran Živolić have given first-rate performances. Is Caligula´s longing for the moon actually madness? That is the question that Pandur poses to the audience, the answer to which yields itself only in the end. The performance finishes with a rethorical question: "And then?" The enthusiastic audience answered with thunderous ovations, and Briuni have once again proven to be the most beautiful stage in the world.