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The NotebookPuppet performance, length 45 min

  15+
Photo Borut Bučinel
The story of twins who, in their struggle for physical and emotional survival, strengthen their bodies and minds as they become increasingly indifferent and apathetic, paints a poetic picture of love, war, identity and (collective) trauma.

The Notebook, the directorial debut of Mia Skrbinac, is a comprehensive exploration of Ágota Kristóf's novel, a visual representation of a literary masterpiece and a study of the enduring human spirit in a time of great hardship. The intricate interweaving of survival, identity and the dehumanising effects of war, interwoven in one of the most harrowing works in the canon of contemporary European fiction, becomes an immersive experience on stage, drawing us into the harsh realities of wartime. Each meticulous puppet sequence serves as a captivating, dynamic performance of sober prose that pushes the boundaries of traditional storytelling and non-violently seeks parallels to the current state of mind.

"A lot of these children are living with people they didn't know before. They have to work in the fields and vineyards; the people who look after them are not always nice to them. The big children often attack the smallest ones. They take all they have in their pockets, and sometimes even their clothes. They beat them up too, especially those who come from elsewhere. The young ones from here are protected by their mothers and never go out alone."

This puppet adaptation of Ágota Kristóf's novel The Notebook is an exploration of human resilience and the potential of dehumanisation, using the key characteristics of the puppet and its animator to paint the images of the novel.

The performance is part of BiTeater, a programme that enables young authors to create and explore their first professional work in the broad field of contemporary puppetry.

In coproduction with UL Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television.

Premiere 23 November 2023, Tunnel LGL

Ágota Kristóf (1935-2011) was born in Csikvánd, Hungary. She received numerous awards for her work, including the Gottfried Keller Prize and the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. The Notebook (1986) is her best-known work, which, together with her novels Proof (1988) and The Third Lie (1991), is part of a trilogy of novels.

Mia Skrbinac is a theatre and film actress. She began her professional theatre career as a freelance cultural worker with projects at Lutkovno gledališče Ljubljana, the Ljubljana City Theatre and SNG Drama Ljubljana. In the 2017/18 and 2021/22 seasons she was part of the ensamble of SNG Drama Ljubljana and in the 2019/20 season she was a member of Ljubljana City Theatre ensamble. In addition to projects at institutional theatres, she is also continuously active in the independent scene as well as in films and television series. She has collaborated with Lutkovno gledališče Ljubljana on the projects Secret Society PGC (2016) and Shame on You (2022).

BiTeater has long been a programme set of the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre. The programme has to some extent changed its focus over the years, but has always maintained the nature of a platform intended for young theatre creators, providing them with opportunities for their artistic development and creation. This will continue to be the case in the future, although BiTeater performances will now put a greater emphasis on the puppetry medium, which the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre perceives as including very broad forms and ideas. The performances created within the BiTeater programme will continue to be conceived as solo projects or performances involving a small number of performers, centred around a young theatre artist, who is the architect of the idea and (often but not necessarily) also one of the performers. BiTeater is a programme set that encourages the upcoming generation of theatre artists to enter the world of puppets and puppetry and find their own original puppet expression as directors, actors, visual artists, costume designers, set designers, dramaturges... BiTeater will continue to dwell in two locations: at its “original” stage in Kulturnica at Židovska steza 1, which the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre has for years been using as a creative space for theatre experimentation, and (again) at the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre Tunnel, which due to its specific space (the tunnel under Ljubljana Castle) offers an array of possibilities to explore new performing approaches in the field of (puppet) theatre.


Author: Ágota Kristóf
Director: Mia Skrbinac
Novel translator: Alenka Moder Saje
Author of dramatization and dramaturge: Benjamin Zajc
Visual design: Jure Brglez
Puppet engineer: Žiga Lebar
Author of music: Jan Krmelj
Lighting designer: Borut Bučinel
Language consultant: Irena Androjna Mencinger
Mentor for puppet animation: Martina Maurič Lazar
Cast: Mia Skrbinac, Voranc Boh
Stage manager and sound designer: Aleš Erjavec
Producer: Alja Cerar Mihajlović
Lighting technician: Uroš Istenič
Set technician: Kliment Petkukjeski/Kemal Vrabac Kordiš
LGL workshops manager: Zoran Srdić
Puppet, set and props production: Žiga Lebar, Olga Milić, David Klemenčič
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