Adapted from Camus´s play Caligula, Pandur´s Caligula develops a landscape beyond space and time, plunging the dark and painful story into a sort of mortifying horror of history. Through the character of the emperor – a Gaius Julius Ceasar Germanicus who is known, thanks to the biography of Svetonius, for his cruelty, eccentricity and instability – the distinctive characteristics of human weaknesses violently emerge: envy, hedonism, suffering... Pandur´s Caligula is the metaphor of man and his history, which never taught him anything and which still mocks his depravity. The essence of the scenography is four movable granite blocks, which copulate and spin and cut through space and light as the consequence of an extremely precise expressionistic analysis of the antitheatrical space. Below a stylized lake on which the characters persecute and fight (mainly with themselves and their own walls), damn and love themselves. The performance is built on physicality (monoliths, bodies), on the thickness of images and emotions, on sensuality (naked bodies twisting in the water, yield themselves, with their deceits, and ours).  An abstract/ allegorical performance of noble effectiveness, shaped by the destiny and force of emotional gravitation by a master; man is pinned to his life and his body with the agony of material impulses, he is being drawn to the toilsomeness of the erotic beauty of dreams and unattainable goals (theatre, the desire to posses the moon), caught in his swamp amid the twilight zone and eaten by his own feeling of guilt. Magnificently choreographed movements of surfaces, essential costumes (which make the periods surveyable and redefine the concept of the nude, making us all equally guilty), a remarkable dramaturgy by Livia Pandur and an exquisite performance of the whole cast, including L. Badurina, D. Vidušin, S. Medvešek, H. Klobučar, O. Grabarić. Difficult, engaging, unmissable: we truly hope that someone will recognize it for what it is and give it the attention it deserves: for the Theatre and for the audience. (Omar Manini, Connessomagazine, 2008, Italia)



A masterful direction amid a splendid scenography, held together by sublime collaboration with the actors, puts in motion a potential of meaning which can, with certainty, enfold humanity in its entirety. Everything resembled a unique “Rubic´s cube” which can be constantly rearranged anew...The elements which form the scene of Pandur´s Caligula are water and stone. Between them stands one man, Caligula, searching for the impossible, stripped bare with his longing for the moon. Pandur succeeds to avoid the widely accepted story of Svetonius, as he obstructs the known „truth“, deconstructs it and pushes it to speak out with a thousand voices. That is why the cubes (walls and stone) on the stage constantly move and rearrange. If the cube is a symbol of truth it has three dimensions, Pandur adds another – the dimension of time (motion, construction-deconstruction) ... The theatre in question is a theatre in which all the details are equally important: the scenography is as important as the text, which is usually sparser than the musical phrase or choreography. In this case the costumes, the movement of shadows, the music and light were used to search for archetypes, and all of this culminated into a performance where the audience, as much as this symbolical and philosophical game is a demand, can follow the spectacle with a perfect concentration. The symbolic qualities of Pandur´s realizations are not simple or easily definable by a genre. We are not talking of a symbolic belief that we live in a sort of a mysterious universe, but in a real and bloody world, which we can only try to deconstruct. The result is the “absurd” when we search behind the truth of historical figures through the depths of the archetypal... The deconstructed fragments of the ”myth“ of Caligula – who tried to conquer the earth, direct its story, and own the moon – are Pandurian in its essence. Pandur´s chiselled, refined and profound vision of Caligula deals with at least three major themes: the existential interpretation of human destiny, the problem of the tyrant and his freedom and the problem of the „production“ of truth, crossing all controllable borders similar to a theatrical performance, and even similar to the theatrical simultanism of „reading“. Pandur´s Caligula therefore resembles a book, the linearity of which can only be kept by constantly returning to the memory of its magnificent design and the architectonic precision of its builder. (Božena Jelusic, Vijesti, 2008, Montenegro)




On the night of the full moon the Croatian premiere of the visually extremely captivating performance based on the roman emperor „who was obsessed with the moon“ was hailed by 700 spectators with long applause and ovations. The actors perform in the water on a fantastic stage. Their characters mirror in „Caligula´s lake Nemorenzis“ and become shadows of his palaces and temples (the top-notch stage design created by Numen). In this eclectic and simultaneously intimate space, the fellow passengers become Camus and Caligula, the time of Rome, Camus´s time, as well as the concrete time of the duration of the performance. The recording of real-time (the actors are questioning the exact time on numerous occasions) is the most lucid part of „Caligula“. The actors´ performance is multiplied and simultaneously „samples“ the production of a new truth, questioning media manipulation, as well as the terror and totalitarism of Caligula´s, Camus´s and our own time. Caligula the visionary observes himself through thoughts on theatre. (Bojana Custic Juraga, Voice of Istria, 2008, Croatia)




What makes Pandur different from many other directors of our time is his love and compassion towards his characters. His Caligula – played by Livio Bandurina – is actually a Little Prince who knows that life is only a passing phenomenon and that the time to realize his ideas will not be granted to him. This Caligula lives his three short years of his reign in a daze oriented towards the Theatre of the Moon, for it is his only real pillar of his desires. In the water of the lake in which he leads his short imperial life, Pandur expounds the reflections of Caligula, which will – perversely, zealously or visionary confronted by the Moon or with a disappointed look facing the ground – survive until today. The spectators of Mittelfest where visibly shocked by Pandur´s vision of Caligula. Glued to their seats, spellbound by images of amazing beauty and a deeply moving score, none of the spectators even remembered to open their umbrellas, when it began to rain in several intervals. They followed Caligula´s „game“ with the Moon breathlessly, as well as his physical toying with his beloved heavenly body which suddenly, treachously, returned into the sky ... leaving him to his executioners. (Svjetlana Hribar, Novi List, Rijeka, 2008, Croatia)




Pandur reprieves Caligula, saving him from a thousand year old curse in the name of his cruel idealism and lastly in the name of his theatrical power as director-manipulator of souls, into whom he peers outside of the boundaries of fiction, with a fascinating and also narcissistic tone, especially when he freely expresses his painterly gifts with the magnificent apotheosis of emperor-Venus, the living reconstruction of the ancient roman metopa, after which an actor takes the exclamation out of the spectators mouth: „This is the art of theatre!“. Pandur has the ability to soften the beauty and cut at the same time, with an inextinguishable visual mark, into the anxiety of existential interrogations. Caligula´s passionate search of relief from mental pain in the moment when „people will no longer die, but will be happy“, leads to an extreme horizon, to a dramatic destruction of himself as well as his demons in a choreographically efficient and emotionally captivating scene, to the closing laughter, which with Camus addresses everyman: „I´m still alive!“. (Rossana Paliaga, Primorski dnevnik, 2008, Slovenia)




In the theatrical vision of one of the boldest and most innovative directors of the European stage, Tomaž Pandur, succeeded to combine and to present the realization of Caligula´s dream of the empire of the impossible. With numerous prominent collaborators he succeeded to present an impressive performance containing all the elements of Pandurian theatre, which has, with the words Rade Šerbedžija  also cinematic moments. But the crown of the performance are doubtlessly the actors. An intuitive alliance of the whole cast and their harmony is perhaps the creation of a new theatrical future.

The western concept of the theatre of the 20th century is too narrow and insufficient to understand or elucidate the infinitely exciting and complex Universe. Pandur felt the same and that is why he reads and decodes the relations of time and space in his performances, throwing light upon the past and predicting the future. (Zdenka Lovec, Primorske novice, 2008, Slovenia)




The most powerful layers of meaning, which are undeniably autobiographic and autoreferencial to the director, concern themselves with the position of the theatre which Caligula creates out of the whole world and which he offers to the world as the formula of salvation. Pandur obviously sets the lunacy of creation before the madness which is generated by the greed for power. On the point of never-ending solitude these two forces collide in the attempt to subordinate the world to man, instead of the other way around. „Caligula“ is a precise performance, full of powerful, invigorating energy, vitally rejecting semantical „labelling“, it tries to represent the measure of its own time and space, where it performs and reaffirms the recognition of the absurdity of the world, and proves that the theatre of the absurd did not die out in the nineties as it seemed, but that it only transformed itself into new cultural and artistic forms, the symptoms of which we are only now discovering in the theatre and in the society at large. (Zelimir Ciglar, Vecernji list, Zagreb, 2008, Croatia)




Water, light, shadow, wind and fire in a combination with impressive music have faithfully depicted Caligula´s constant quest for answers and the meaning of life through his desire to posses the Moon. Caligula is a journey of the soul through history and uncountable wars. An excellent cast has faithfully brought to life his confrontation with the absurdity of existence. Especially Livio Badurina, Sven Medvešek, Hrvoje Klobučar, Dijana Vidušin, Sven Šestak, Ozren Grabarić, Filip Križan, Silvio Vovk, Igor Kovač i Vedran Živolić have given first-rate performances. Is Caligula´s longing for the moon actually madness? That is the question that Pandur poses to the audience, the answer to which yields itself only in the end. The performance finishes with a rhetorical question: „And then?“ The enthusiastic audience answered with thunderous ovations, and Briuni have once again proven to be the most beautiful stage in the world. (Vjesnik, Zagreb, 2008, Croatia)