Directed by Dora Ruždjak Podolski
Translated from the German by Ivo Juriša
Adaptation of the text and dramaturgy by Tomislav Zajec
Stage design by Stefano Katunar
Costume design by Manuela Paladin Šabanović
Assistant stage movement by Petra Hrašćanec
Composition by Stanislav Kovačić
Sound design by Christian Kanazir
Linguistic consulting by Đurđa Škavić
Light design by Zdravko Stolnik
Assistance in stage direction by Vanja Jovanović
Assistance in stage design by Paola Lugarić
Assistance in costume design by Doria Antica Topić
Visual identity of the play by Ivona Đogić Đurić / Crtaona Studio


Claire Zachanassian, née Wascher, millionaire: Jelena Miholjević
Her husband VII, VIII and IX: Andrej Kopčok
Butler Dietrich: Siniša Ružić
Koby: Nikola Baće / Vanja Jovanović
Loby … who is blind: Ivan Grčić
Alfred Ill: Sven Medvešek
The daughter, Otilia: Anja Đurinović
Madame Ill: Barbara Nola
The Mayor: Amar Bukvić
The Parish Priest: Sven Šestak
The Teacher: Hrvoje Klobučar
The Doctor: Ana Kvrgić
The Policeman: Janko Rakoš
The Railway Man: Andrej Dojkić
The Painter: Nenad Cvetko
Clodette: Natalija Đorđević
Marie: Anica Kovačević

Stage managing by Snježana Majdak
Prompting by Andrea Glad

Premiered on the 6th and 7th of May, 2021, at the Cultural Centre Travno (Kulturni centar Travno) in Zagreb

The Visit (Der Besuch der alten Damen in the original German) is of an exciting structure, much like a thriller: we can take it as a train which in the landscape of a devastated economy brings forth a young protagonist – the so-called “old lady”, and when the play reaches its full speed, the “visit” of the title does not elude our attention. Mixing elements of melodrama, tragedy, black tragedy and the grotesque, this exceedingly lively and contemporary text formulates clear questions over the problems of corruption as the source of economic devastation, the collapse of morality, the abandonment of a country in search of a better life, with the bitterness of returning without any illusions… Before us is a sharp critique of the contemporary mode of understanding human life, where everything is submitted to capital, but also an almost utopian story about the infinite power of love, the sorrows of unfulfilled desires, very witty indeed in its strategies with regard to settling debts with real or imagined wrongdoers and, in the end, a painful and cruel lack of forgiveness. The dramaturgist Tomislav Zajec and the director Dora Ruždjak Podolski, the creative team of the very successful production Črna mati zemla (Black Mother Earth), have managed to set up Dürrenmatt’s play to a contemporary audience, gathering a troupe of actors into a unified whole. In the words of the play itself, “It’s not about well-being or about a comfortable life, it’s not about luxury or excess: it’s about whether or not we will manage to make the truth a reality...”

In these pandemic times it’s a miracle to see on stage a new, great ensemble production, and it’s an even greater miracle seeing as it is created by the earthquake-stricken Gavella theatre which cannot perform it on its own stage. (...) Shortly put, this time the old lady has returned straight to Zagreb, a city which is literally dying around her, with its abandoned factories, the funicular which doesn’t work, the strongmen in gold shoes of a false sheen… The play offers a sobering up, it implores us to look at things as they really stand. All that could hardly take place without the protagonist’s role being so skillfully performed by Jelena Miholjević, but also taking into mind the entire (younger) ensemble around her. (Bojana Radović, Večernji list)

A salutary pessimism in front of a so-called historical moment… The main character, that is the millionaire Claire, as performed by Jelena Miholjević is easygoing and interesting. The actor Sven Medvešek is an impressive Alfred Ill, who plays the role of the scapegoat without any personal interventions in his initial position of an abandoned provincial man who has forgotten his own past. (Tomislav Čadež, Jutarnji list)