Gavella Theatre and Croatian National Theatre in Šibenik

Director: Dražen Ferenčina
Screenplay Adaptation: Željka Udovičić Pleština
Stage Design: Dragutin Broz
Costume Design: Sara Lovrić Caparin
Music: Mate Matišić
Lighting Design: Zdravko Stolnik and Joško Bakula

Blaž Gajski: Boris Svrtan
Aleksa: Janko Rakoš
Roko Papak: Jakov Bilić
Murko Munita: Nenad Cvetko
Lucija: Franka Klarić
Sven Gajski: Šime Bubica
Martin: Igor Kovač
Spomenka: Anica Kovačević
Private Albanian: Ivan Grčić
Private Šćepanović: Nikola Baće
Dante: Zoran Gogić

Opening night at the CNT in Šibenik: May 14th, 2018
Opening night at Gavella Theatre: October 3rd, 2018

Vinko Brešan’s film ‘’How the War Started on My Island’’, filmed in 1996 and based on the screenplay he co-wrote with his father Ivo, is somewhat of a turning point in Croatian cinematography of the 90’s. It blended war, that is – the beginning of the war, with comedy. The movie managed to show what we were going through at the time in a humorous way, doing incredibly well at the box office with an inconceivable number of viewers at the time – 342 000. The lines in front of the movie theatre and the ‘’sold-out’’ signs were probably the result of the fact that this film both communicated and made us laugh; analyzed and was ironic. It let the laughter penetrate the thick darkness. Looking at it in retrospect, more than 20 years after it premiered, it is still one of the finest, most vital achievements of our cinematography, thanks to its dynamically constructed plot, the colourful, portrayable characters we can relate to, the dialogues which became an integral part of our collective memory, the suggestive, tragicomic atmosphere... And now the story will come back to life in the theatre, co-produced by two playhouses – Gavella Theatre and Croatian National Theatre in Šibenik, the screenplay will be adapted for the stage by Željka Udovičić Pleština and it will be directed by Dražen Ferenčina. We believe that this, essentially very intimate story, woven into social turmoil of an era that, undoubtedly, defined us all, still has something to tell us today, on the stage.

“Croatian National Theatre in Šibenik and Gavella Theatre produced a hit. The demand for the tickets to this play will long exceed the supply. The performance in Šibenik succeeded to enchant the otherwise rather delicate and severe audience (...) The dramatist Željka Udovičić wrote the play drawing on the motives of the film script. The story is told from the present-day perspective, and eventually rounds off, post-festum or post-mortem, Brešan's characters “old” life. The show lasts only 75 minutes. I think it has been years since I last wrote that a play could be longer, but this one definitely could. (...) Also, Dražen Ferenčina, the director, is experienced with Brešan's dramaturgy, and here this experience is perfected by motivated actors, among which there is no negative energy but there is intense passion.” (Tomislav Čadež, Jutarnji list)