King Matt the First

King Matt the First, photo Mankica Kranjec
King Matt the First is a story of a boy who, after the sudden death of his father, the King, ascends the throne. Despite his efforts to rule justly and as he sees fit, he cannot bypass the ministers and the parliament, concerned only with the interests of adults and not children. In order to meet the needs of all the inhabitants, he establishes a children’s parliament. But instead of matters getting resolved, they become even more complicated and so Matt comes to realise that government and democracy hide numerous traps and dilemmas that cannot be solved in a simple way.
Janusz Korczak (the pen name of Henryk Goldszmit) was one of the most famous Polish children’s writers, a reformer in the field of pedagogy and a director of an orphanage for Jewish children in the interwar period. He established the orphanage on the then progressive pedagogical principles, which he implemented also by forming a sort of a republic for children with its own parliament, court and newspaper. In his rather short life, which was violently brought to an end, Korczak became – and has to this day remained – the cult figure of Polish children’s literature and culture. Especially tragic was his end during World War Two and the Nazi occupation of Poland when he refused the pardon offered to him by the Nazis during the so-called Great Action (Grossaktion) in Warsaw, in light of him being a great and acknowledged writer, and decided to join all the children and the employees of the orphanage on their way to the notorious Treblinka extermination camp. According to the witnesses, the famous Korczak march through Warsaw with more than two hundred singing children dressed in their best clothes, carrying backpacks with their favourite toy and book, was more like a magnificent sacrificial ritual than a departure for mindless execution.

King Matt the First
(1923) was written during a time of great upheavals and troubles faced by Polish society. The staging will be based on the idea of parliamentary democracy as a state tool of contemporary government. In a dramatic and documentary form and through an open and understandable language, it will familiarise children with the ideas of democracy and responsibility. Part of the content will be contributed by the children who will find themselves in a double role of spectators and performers. The other performers will be actors who will enact the main story and direct the children’s participation.

Anja Suša is a Belgrade director and an established theatre artist who also works as an artistic director and international selector. She devotes much of her time to theatre work for children and young people both in Serbia and abroad, for which she has received several international awards and recognitions. At LGL, she directed
Once We Got Lost, a socially critical performance for young people that premiered in 2015.

Premiere: 1th December 2017, Stage under the Stars LGL
Director: Anja Suša
Authors: Janusz Korczak, Ana Duša
Dramaturgy: Petra Pogorevc
Scenography, Costumography: Maja Mirković
Cast: Primož Ekart a. g., Voranc Boh, Rok Kunaver, Zala Ana Štiglic, Nina Ivanič, Urška Hlebec, Jan Bučar
Partisan choir: Iztok Kocen (Conductor), Josip Drabik Jug, Lovro Jakopina, Dušan Kulovec, Zvone Logar, Daro Majcen, Ignacij Marinko, Tonček Marn, Anton Potočnik, Jožef Roškar, Vincenc Tomažič, Mihael Usenik, Valentin Zibelnik
Arrangements and sound design: Laren Polič Zdravič
Choreography: Damjan Kecojević
Lighting design: Mats Öhlin
Proofread: Irena Androjna Mencinger
Stage manager and sound designer: Emil Koprivc
Lights: Srečo Brezovar
Set technicians: Klemen Sašek, Darko Nedeljković
Set, props and costumes production: Zoran Srdić, Iztok Bobić, Polona Černe, Zala Kalan, Sandra Birjukov, Marjetka Valjavec, Tereza Ondrůšková, Mojca Rodman, Špela Ulaga, Vladson, Uroš Mehle s. p., Domoprema Bobnar, Čevljarstvo Peta
Mask and wardrobe: Nina Jordanovski and Daša Jordanovski
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