Directed by Vanja Jovanović
Translated from the English by Nora Krstulović
Dramaturgy by Dubravko Mihanović
Stage design by Vanja Jovanović and Marita Ćopo
Costume design by Marita Ćopo
Music by Šimun Matišić
Light design by Zdravko Stolnik
Sound design by Christian Kanazir
Visual identity of the play by Ivona Đogić Đurić / Crtaona Studio

Katurian: Živko Anočić
Michal: Nikola Baće
Tupolski: Sven Šestak
Ariel: Franjo Dijak

In the play features a part of the song "A Song for All Seasons", by Jefferson Airplane

Stage managing by Snježana Majdak
Prompting by Andrea Glad

Premiered on the 17th September, 2021

Wreathed by the Olivier Award as best new play, by the New York Critics Circle Award for best new play, two Tony Awards among many others, The Pillowman is one of those texts which, at once, disturbs us and animates us, unforeseeable and daring, brutal and tender, enticing and repulsive. Martin McDonagh has the gift to compel us to jump onto this “train of death” with which he offers to pull us into the dark where, on parallel railway lines of a crime thriller and of a gothic atmosphere, we will be left without breath by making us laugh - and by terrifying us. At times, much like the characters on stage, we are left unsure with regard to what is the truth, and what is not, what has taken place, and what is only imagined, and when we are led astray, wouldn’t we simply doubt evermore the veracity of the clues which lead us across the maze that is The Pillowman. Directed by Vanja Jovanović, The Pillowman gathers a fine quartet of actors around a richness of subtlety, in which light exists, but the characters - and we along with them - gaze and wonder whence it emerges. Is it a faith in the importance of telling tales, in humaneness, in mercy-giving and profound understanding, which exist in the totalitarian blackness of a world which we can only hope that we do not inhabit… The Pillowman skillfully juggles the potential keys to these questions, along with our expectations, the fragility of the border between reality and fiction - and the theatrical form itself.

Taking a risk with a young director has paid off well for this theatre. For this production he has hand-picked four aces of the Gavella theatre and made a work of art which is, just like the original text, an amazing coexistence of directorial minimalism and a truly poetic vision which help elevate the performance into the world of dreams, adding to it the question: Is any of this true? (...) The greatest emotions, but also irony and black humour are hidden in the dialogue between the brothers, dialogues between actors who gave their best for their roles. Therefore – a highly recommended play. (Bojana Radović, Večernji list)

In this well thought-out, carefully created actors’ performance, precisely tweaked, in Živko Anočić’s frighteningly well-done performance, Katurian is not only docile but also ready for every form of opportunistic cooperation and treachery, but also has no qualms about censoring others and burning their works, especially when it comes to competition, superior competition at that. We, the collective audience, do not want such writers, not because they write stories about swallowing razor blades, but because they lack political character. (Nataša Govedić, Novi list)

The director Vanja Jovanicić, who began on an independent stage, here avoided the all-too easy excessive expressiveness of a young director, and had managed to powerfully concentrate his four stage interpreters to display a wide spectre of the art of acting, finely maintaining the rhythm of the play which has very faithfully and successfully brought forth all the essential elements in McDonagh’s meaningfully complex world – from the relationship between power and art, to the responsibilities of the writer with regard to the evils his work can potentially bring about (regardless of the aesthetic value of the written texts), also the deformities of family relations in which children suffer, and the question of vengeance and forgiveness, alongside a panoply of tiny details which, altogether, form a dark image of at least part of our contemporary world. (Tomislav Kurelec, Kazališ

With the support of