Director Janez Pipan prepared his adaptation, a stage ballad in three tableaux, which reflects his poetic vision of what can often be considered a traumatic and silent part of Slovenian history, after the time-transcending novel I Saw Her That Night by Drago Jančar – a major figure of Slovenian and European literature. In turn, the co-production with an international cast managed to translate the former and presupposed historical reality directly onto the stage, which was not done by chance but as a logical and somewhat inherent consequence of the novel’s narrative. Namely, all five narrators, who tell the extraordinary life story of Veronika Zarnik from each one’s perspective, are of different nationalities: the Serbian military officer Stevan (Veronika’s lover), Veronika’s mother suffering from dementia, a German doctor, the Slovenian housekeeper Joži and the aged partisan Jeranek. Even though their individual stories reveal only a part of the whole reality, they intersect and provide an intriguingly entangled narrative imbued with love, jealousy, courage, as well as cruelty, treason and other human weaknesses and vices. A love story between Veronika and Stevan, as depicted in the novel, as well as the turmoil of war and Veronika’s fate, are just waymarks of an extremely evocative, intense and, at moments, shocking story with its striking staging potential. To stage such a complex story, which has thus escaped the oblivion of history, one does not require only a brilliant staging concept but, foremost, life experience, erudition, open-mindedness, as well as love and respect for all that is human and all too fragile.
Director: Janez Pipan
Scenography: Marko Japelj
Video projection design: Vesna Krebs
Costume design: Leo Kulaš
Composer: Milko Lazar
Lighting design: Andrej Hajdinjak
Photography: Peter Giodani