Inspired by Krešo Golik’s screenplay for one of the most popular films in Croatian cinema history, which was based on Vjekoslav Majer’s The Diary of Little Perica (1942), Rene Medvešek will direct a theatrical potpourri reconstructing the dying spirit of Zagreb. The play follows the European theatrical practice of treating cult films as cultural treasures, in order to inspire new generations of viewers. The story takes place in the Zagreb Upper Town between the two world wars. The Šafranek family lives there comfortably, carrying out their white-collar jobs, frequenting cafes and going on day trips. The daily rhythm that Little Perica keeps record of will be disrupted by the arrival of a charming bachelor, Mr Fulir. Franjo is a clerk who is trying unsuccessfully to prove to his wife that he is smarter and more capable than he is. He is hiding the fact that he’s a coward who does not dare ask his boss for time off, and regrets never having become a pilot. He likes to drink and is constantly invoking ‘civil norms’. Ana Šafranek is withering away in a marriage with a man who doesn’t even notice that Mr Fulir is courting his wife. Ana slowly abandons her ethical principles, giving in to Mr Fulir’s advances, but he will eventually be exposed and forced to marry the garrulous Aunt Mina. Medvešek’s musical staging of the story portrays the everyday life of those beloved and familiar characters who gather around the table as the central place of middle-class life, and is enriched by the broadcast from the wireless, located in the dining room. This technological wonder penetrates the walls and warms the atmosphere of Zagreb homes. In the words of Rudolf Habeduš Katedralis, the first chronicler of Radio Zagreb: we can imagine what transpired when those intruders, maybe even conquerors – radio waves – pierced the sky above the Zagreb Upper Town. This organ without a player, like an invisible guest, is entertaining, informing, teaching, amusing, soothing, comforting, and sometimes deceiving and frightening its listeners.
RENE MEDVEŠEK is an actor and director. He received his acting degree from The Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb. From 1989 to 2016 he has been a member of the Zagreb Youth Theatre ensemble. In 1991 he co-founded the artistic group Blink of an Eye, where he directed his first plays, The Winter’s Tale and Mrvek and Crvek. Since 1996 he has directed the following plays at the Zagreb Youth Theatre: Hamper, Č.P.G.A., Brother Donkey, Our Town, Next Door, Best Soup! Best Soup!, The Man Who Saved Europe, Christopher Columbus and many more at other Croatian and international theaters. For his work he has received numerous prizes and awards. He currently teaches acting at the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Art.