One of the most controversial, brave and polemic theatre plays of the day.
Within the frame of the theatre festival in Bogota we could see one of the most courageous and controversial plays of the recent period. The play ‘One hundred minutes’ from Slovenia, directed and written by Tomaz Pandur is a multiple sense spectacle, in which the author presents the eternal battle between God and the Devil, and the battlefield is the human heart. The play is an adaptation of the novel The Brothers Karamazov by F. M. Dostoevsky, which keeps the audience in a cathartic state for an hour and forty minutes.
INSANITY AND SADISM ON STAGE
They are here, God the warrior and the Devil and their battlefield is the human heart. Tomaz Pandur: this is the name of the creator of this laud ceremony of souls, terror, as well as visual pleasure and provocation. Two years ago he injected us with adrenaline with his explosive play »Inferno«, a play full of delirious images, drawn with the tenderness of his poetic language. In the new play on the Festival Pandur repeats the same doses with ‘One hundred minutes’, a very personal narration inspired by the story of The Brothers Karamazov by F. M. Dostoevsky, which holds the audience in a cathartic state for an hour and forty minutes, a state not recommended for vulnerable people or those with cardiovascular problems. ‘One hundred minutes’ is a multiple sense spectacle in which the author presents the eternal battle between God and the Devil who use the human heart as their battlefield.
In the large, cleared and modern space all people pose the same question: ‘What is behind that curtain?’ This is where the heroes join up, dream, and solve their duality principles, for they are good and bad, victims and criminals. With the original music by Richard Horowitz the play touches the intellectual, the morally ethic, philosophical and mystical world of the Karamazov Brothers – in the search of the sources of the new Europe, the most important moments of its history, the understanding of its symbols and matrices. It is a monumental, restless piece of work, which transcends boarders, in which eroticism, passion and the souls of offenders live in full theatre expression. It is an explosion of feelings, full of bright and overwhelming energy.
‘The fantastic’ reality of Dostoevsky reveals the origin of creation, it tells us about his God, immortality, morality, philosophy, crime, punishment and love. As an alchemist he merges and dissolves the vulnerable tissue of the human soul. On the extreme boarder of pain and duality it drowns in mud, raises to compassion, blissful mercy, world brotherhood. In the eyes is clairvoyance, he views the world in a mystical trance, which can be understood only with love. Escape, exile, pain escalated to insanity. An explosion of wild passion, deconstruction of feelings, emotional states changing at the speed of light. In a symbolic trance, with a prayer book in his pocket, God in the mouth and crime in his soul. In the moment of death in the middle of life. Where others end their stories, Dostoevsky begins and never brings them to complete conclusion. In this magical cut of the end and the beginning starts the story of four brothers. In condensed drama, in perfect awareness, in the excitement of all senses, with raised temperature, in a word, silence or scream,« Pandur explains his imposing creation.
(EL ESPACIO, 2.4.2004, Bogota, Columbia)
ONE HUNDRED MINUTES
In a large, clean and ultra-modern space eight persons feel how God and the devil are winning over their hearts in an eternal battle. One after the other they slowly subordinate to duality, each and every one of them ends as a victim and a criminal with no return. Regardless of the strong dramatic tension, the director of the play (the premiere was five months ago) ensures that everybody who dares to watch it will experience one hundred minutes of realisation and pleasure.
(SOHO, No. 39, 2004, Bogota, Columbia)
Tomaz Pandur knows only to well what it means to be an outstanding person. Already since his youth his talent enabled him to shine in the theatre. At the age of 25 he came from his native country of Slovenia to Columbia as the director of ‘Sheherezade’, one of the best evaluated plays in the history of the Festival Iberoamericano de Theatre, a very personal adaptation of ‘A thousand and one nights’. A year later he returned as the head of the Thalia theatre from Germany and shone once again with the performance ‘Inferno’. With a mighty stage design, with a four floor construction, a swimming pool and Haron’s boat on stage Pandur invited the audience into the Jorge Ellecer Gaitan theatre, so they would be swept away by the theatrical and musical play based on the ‘Divine Comedy’ by Dante Alighieri. In 2004 the creator is returning once more with the intention of offering the Colombians ‘One hundred minutes’ of pleasure.
(Entretenimiento, Katherine Moreno Sarmiento, 12.4.2004, Columbia)
Tomaz Pandur: The dreamer of the theatre of the future
‘The creator of the theatre of the new millennia’. That is how Tomaz Pandur, an old acquaintance of the audience of the Iberoamericano Theatre Festival was announced, when he was presented through with his previous plays showed at the festival. Now he is returning to Columbia with his group and the play ‘One hundred minutes’. This is the first work of the theatre Pandur.Theaters, a theatre group, which was established by Tomaz Pandur after he completed the world tour of ‘Inferno’, which he directed within the Thalia theatre and was one of the best received plays at the Iberoamericano Theatre Festival two years ago. Now, through ‘One hundred minutes’ of his avant-garde theatre Pandur is presenting the story of good and evil, the eternal conflict between heaven and hell. Whoever has seen the return to Dante’s circles of evil in ‘Inferno’ at the last festival, and »Sheherezade« in 1992, which was performed at all international festivals in Latin America, knows only to well the work of this theatre ‘maestro’ and his powerful and bright stage magic. Now he is returning to the Colombian stages with a multiple sense spectacle, which is based on one of the most important works of world literature, the novel ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ by F. M. Dostoevsky.
(Sergio Villamizar D., El Universa, 31.3.2004, Columbia)
Tomaz Pandur was in Bogota : One hundred minutes so we could see over the curtain
A CONTROVERSY. This is a piece of work by a director, who puts his soul and body into every play and some are of the opinion that he also puts his karma; and this is the only important thing in theatre. The play ‘One hundred minutes’ was staged at the IX. IBEROAMERICANO THEATRE FESTIVAL. This time the Slovene director Tomaz Pandur, one of the most controversial and avant-garde artists at the Festival, offered us his newest creation: One hundred minutes. This is an adaptation of the novel ‘The Brothers Karamazov by F. M. Dostoevsky, which joins the language of dance, theatre, video and music in order to offer us pure aesthetics with its mark, a world of images, filled with emotions.
Pandur placed on stage eight actors of different nationalities, who talk in their own languages and through their relations and actions impersonate the great existential problems of mankind, which are exposed by Dostoevsky in his book: the conflict between good and evil, the demon and God, crime and the victim.
(Ana Maria Restrepo, EL NUEVO SIGLO, 12.4.2004, Bogota, Columbia)
‘One hundred minutes’ is a passionate theatre adaptation of the novel ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ by F. M. Dostoevsky. A spectacle, full of bravery and boldness, is a waterfall of images, emotions and suggestions, which overcome the audience with its stage design as well as the ‘brutal’ work of the actors.
(Julio Bravo, ABC, 5.4.2004, Madrid, Spain)
Divinity and evilness confronted in ‘Onehundred minutes’
This year’s play, with which the Slovene Tomaz Pandur arrived to the theatre festival is exciting and overcomes all boarders. His play ‘One hundred minutes’ is an adaptation of the novel ‘The Brothers Karamazov’.
With ‘One hundred minutes’ of good and evil, the eternal battle between God and the demon, the Slovene director Tomaz Pandur and his group Pandur.Theaters and Ljubljana Festival participate once more at the Iberoamericano Theatre Festival.
In this avant-garde adaptation of the novel ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ by Dostoevsky the feelings of the audience are sharpened by the penetrating musicals notes, with an emphasised make-up and unusual costumes, and especially with the dialogues, not only because of their meaning one can obtain between the lines, but also because each of the actors speaks in his own language. In the play we hear different language combinations: English, French, Russian, Serbian, Croatian, Slovene and German. This mixture of languages is a logical consequence of the events on stage. It is not some sort of a construction, it is not something that would be forced into the play, it is a demand of the play.
Tomaz Pandur, who surprised two years ago with ‘Inferno’, reveals that the true challenge in the play was to achieve the merger of the eight actors. A similarly great challenge was also presented by the reaching of the point where every one of the actors saw his part in the same way as Pandur saw it.
In the large, clear and modern space, which serves as the scene, all persons pose the same question: What is behind the curtain? – with a perfect body expression, intertwining with music and a variety of emotional states. With the manner of presenting various situations that the play evokes, it causes the reactions of the audience which proves that theatre is a very powerful medium, which is capable of encouraging strong emotional processes amongst the audience.
It is a monumental, exciting play, which transcends the boarders and in which eroticism, passions and souls of the ‘offenders’ bloomed in their complete theatrical expression, carried out with maximum theatricality.
(EL ESPECTADOR DOMINGO, 7.3.2004, Bogota, Columbia)
Contemporary magic by Pandur
Four men and four women live in a building and the ‘off voice’ constantly repeats the following question ‘What is behind that curtain?’.
Tomaz Pandur, a Slovene who surprised everybody in 1992 with ‘Sheherezade’ and who thrilled the audience two years ago with ‘Inferno’, returned with the adaptation of ‘The Brothers Karamazov’, a philosophical, political and social work by F. M. Dostoevsky, who portrayed Russia during the second half of the 19th Century. In ‘One hundred minutes’ as Pandur entitled his play and duration of the play, the artist returns to the angels and demons, who obsess him to a great extent. On the stage the play – similarly to the novel by Dostoevsky – outlines the faith of the world and humanity, the frantic search of the foreseen happiness – without a clear concept, what this represents with all of the preoccupations. The Gothic characters, the pale and dark mask, a lot of leather and bare chests accompanied by contemporary adaptations of classical music take us to the underworld, which is nothing else but the karmic world of terrors and anxiety. The almost bare stage and the presence of actors in a circle are sufficient to completely capture the audience, glue them to their chairs and pay the utmost attention. ‘One hundred minutes’ triggers a real electric shock within us, which strongly moves us and then prohibits us from breathing. The light and darkness intertwine in the perfectly balanced minimalism, where the work of the actors and the director can be felt and seen in the pure pleasure of creation.
The scenes of the death of the swan, as a parody to ballet, acts like a metaphor for shattered dreams. Pandur is crazy, but his craziness is the genius craziness of the great artists, who are not afraid of the responses their work will receive, for they do only what their creative spirit tells them to do and thus bring down stereotypes without any fear. In merely one hundred minutes Tomaz Pandur takes us from heaven straight to hell, with no stops in between, no stairs, it is all reminiscent of a sort of Russian mountain of vertiginous emotions.
(Diego Leon Giraldo S., EL TIEMPO, 6.4.2004, Bogota, Columbia)
One hundred minutes as an eschatological hypothesis of time
(…) it is felt that time, as a segment that can not be caught or understood, is the basic metaphysical motive or the decisive enigmatic concatenation of staging. As any debate on time this performance also encounters insolvable paradoxes, which can not be bypassed, for time is the basic existential and philosophical (or according to Bergson, Schopenhauer, Borges and others), the basic metaphysical problem. And as Márquez’ Hundred years of solitude ends – as understood in the Western, postmodernist reading – with the metaphysical conclusion (…), the ending of the One hundred minutes also evokes the end of time, which can be understood mythically and metaphysically at the same time.
(…) it seems as if time and space – taking into account the fact, that in the theatre environment time is necessary interacted with the stage – are in One hundred minutes represented with a similar existentially binding thesis as Márquez’ Macondo. As if after the hundred minutes are through ‘only the terrifying (symbolical – comment by J.V.) whirl of dust and ruins, which spread through the biblical storm (…) for it was destined, that the wind will flatten this town of mirrors with the ground and erase it from the memory of people (…) and that everything, that was written can not be repeated in eternity, for the generations condemned to one hundred years of solitude have no other exit on earth.’
(Jasna Vombrek, MENTOR, January 2004. Slovenia)
Beauty is a terrible thing
One hundred minutes, a performance by Tomaz Pandur that follows the motifs of the novel ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ represents one hundred minutes of an elevated state, one hundred minutes of distilled Dostoevsky, an author, whose thought in the hands of the stage director proves to be exciting and passionate. (…) In the duality, which also takes over the stage, God and the absence of God oppose each other in an orgasmic spasm of pleasure and pain, both as an endeavour of the great human strength, the strength that will swing the hatched through time – and that will with the love for the one close as well as the great love of the victim, forgive the torturer.
(…) In this play Pandur also deals with the problem of time. Contrary to his previous plays, which measured fictitious time, the time of fiction, he directed One hundred minutes on the current moment, on the so-called reality. The magical moving pictures, projected onto the wall (Mileusnic+Serdarevic), climbed upon by the heroes (in a Sisyphus like manner), in a claustrophobic play ‘outside of time’ open the space to history, while the documentary soundtrack takes them further, stopping at ‘here’ and ‘now’ in time and space, in which the choreographed sequences and sudden breaks of music by R. Horowitz draw with the same strength with their contemporaneity as with the level to which the adrenaline rises.
(…) One hundred minutes can surprise with its rigorousness, with the almost visual asceticism, however it is this reduction to the most important, to the human in the agony of passion that strengthens the intensity of the seen and underlines its meaning.
(Viviana Radman, Zarez, December 2003, Zagreb, Croatia)
The fascinating point in Pandur’s One hundred minutes lies in the fact that at the fragmentation of The Brothers Karamazov he followed the basic inspiration of Dostoevsky. He also introduced his understanding of spiritual biography. (…) The battle between God and the Devil took place and it took place in ‘my’ heart. This big me, which manifested itself in the ambivalence, created the artistic charge. (…) Pandur created a work of art, which deserves total recognition.
(J. Markes, Mag, 19th November 2003, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
DEATH OF THE SWAN
In the one hundred minutes the Karamazov brothers (...) act out all of the key scenes of the newer European history. True to their characters, which Pandur kept as Dostoevsky intended, they act in accordance with the historic moment and at while doing this they play the most unusual and unexpected cards. At this Pandur uses all of the possibilities offered by Marko Japelj’s stage design, which is in fact a glass stage, lightened by regularly placed neon lights. In the depths the stage is restricted with a division wall, which will lead the actors within their consciousness, regardless of what period they will find themselves in. (...)
In the performance Sonja Vukicevic personifies all worn down women, mistresses, mothers, she is Russia herself... (...) The dying swan: the arms are the wings of the swan, the body has already given all it has, and that is the shocking opposition with the wings that will not fly. (...) When the swan is dying, the brothers bring their ballet wings and place them as reefs on the dead body. The dead Russian. Dead Europe. Pandur's theatre takes us into it's own world with the enigmatic text:
It was a large room. Full of people. All kinds. They have all arrived at the same building at more or less the same time. And they were all free. And they were all asking themselves the same question: What is behind that curtain?
The response offers itself: One hundred minutes, in which the Old World lives and decays. In the way Tomaz Pandur sees it.
(Svjetlana Hribar, LUDUS, October 2003, Novi Sad, SCG)
Pandur's Theatre Extravaganza Awarded in Budva
The latest extravaganza by one of Slovenia's most acclaimed theatre directors has won over the jury of the 18th Theatre City festival in the Montenegrin town of Budva. "100 Minutes" by Tomaz Pandur was awarded the prize for "contributing to the advancement of theatre".
(Slovenia Business Week no. 35, August 30th, 2004)