Can You Hear Me In Belgrade?
In the Serbian showcase proper I saw Urbi Et Orbi, directed by Andras Urban. Working from Subotica, and therefore in Hungarian, he’s very much the coming man of Serbian theatre, with another production in the showcase and one in the main BITEF programme. What I saw was a piece for four actors who were allowed to improvise as, one by one, they took centre stage to talk about their lives – and under intense interrogation from their fellows revealed them to be very unpleasant ones indeed. A young woman claiming proudly to be a virgin confesses first to a fondness for masturbation, then finally to a teenage abortion. A man who wants to complain about his boss is shown up as an inadequate, neglectful father. The other two are a nymphomaniac and a paedophile respectively. Their confessions are followed by increasingly hysterical attempts at penance as microphone monologue gives way to bloody ritual. It’s a deeply distasteful production, but one marked by some highly explosive acting and a strong sense of directorial style.
Ian Herbert (42. BITEF, 2008.)