Zetski dom

Black humor of extreme situations

“Final Countdown” – the dark side of life, colored with laughter, disturbing play about life in the modern world.

We continue the series of texts from the Archival notebook column by recalling the play “Final Countdown”, which was premiered in October 2003, directed by Lidija Dedović.

Written by: Rajko Radulović, dramaturge of the Royal Theatre “Zetski dom”

Romanian writer Saviana Stanescu’s drama “Final Countdown”, after its Romanian premiere, was an exceptional success in Paris, Vienna, and after a few months in New York. It premiered in Montenegro on October 20, 2003 at the Royal Theatre “Zetski dom” in Cetinje.

The director is Lidija Dedović:

“I wanted to choose something that is contemporary dramaturgy, and to be a writer who has not been researched or worked on in our country… Saviana Stanescu is recognisable by the fact that she writes on the principle of fragmentary dramaturgy. This piece is composed of ten scenes, each of which has its own independent structure, and which I want to integrate into a whole that has its own common thread. It is about the failure of human destinies, about the anxiety of individuals, about some intimate accidents and through that about the mentality and the social system”.

The cast includes: Mladen Nelević, Nada Vukčević, Tihana Ćulafić and Zoran Vujović. Scenography by Milija Pavićević, costume design by Irena Lagator, music by Aleksandar Radunović – Popaj. Stage movement by Slavka Nelević and Jelena Stanovnik translated the text.

Within four connected, cramped cabins (spaces), the director’s solutions (setting) in a transparent, clear way combine four grotesque life situations of characters or four stages of character development in the play.

Traumatic, black-humored situations escalate to pathology. Characters that are powerless to change anything, deaf to the needs of others, gradually drew the audience into their “cosmos” full of news about murders, rapes, infanticides… a strange picture of a “dislocated” world, at the same time realistic and absurd, a picture of individuals who love, hate, despise, fight and destroy each other. Humor with a taste of bitterness!

“Everything in the play is shocking and I’m sure that the story is strange in the right way, that it inspires the right questions, that it has an audience, but also that it will acquire a new one.”, actress Nada Vukčević said about the play.

The dramatic form that exists in the field of risky, ambiguous expression (and through the director’s procedure), on the one hand relaxes, while on the other hand it raises some painful topics that are easier to face when they are set in a tragicomic way.

“I expect that the audience, like me when I was working on the text, will have a horrible and at the same time comical association with the play. That feeling of a world that is at the same time destructive and sometimes creative, in which people suddenly become fragments and fractures arise both in the individual and in the environment, that, it seems to me, is something that is true for the whole world and that is why the piece is relevant us”, said director Dedović.

The value of this play is also the gallery of characters who are inspiring in their closedness and limitation. In addition to the directing process, the credit for this certainly belongs to the excellent cast in which there were no secondary roles, everyone played confidently and with attitude.

“Final Countdown” – the dark side of life, colored with laughter, a play about the reverse of life in the modern world!