Production The Great Drama, written and directed by Siniša Kovačević, will have its jubilee 200th performance on the Main Stage, on Sunday 22nd February (19:30 h), exactly 13 years after its premiere.
In this poetic and realistic play, Kovačević and a large ensemble of actors (more than 50 performers) examine how historic events reflect on individuals and how ideology and politics determine people’s destinies through this moving story which takes place in the second half of 20th century.
This is, in fact, a story about tragic destiny of a man, personifying tragic destinies of many people, all those who enthusiastically believed in the new world order, which should have provided them with earthly paradise.
This is Kovačević’s most ambitious play; he worked on the play for 13 years. He focused on the family of Vučić, a Montenegrin family, who actively participate in colonization of Vojvodina, both ideologically and in every other sense of the word…
The production promoted numerous young actors – Vuk Kostić, Hadži Nenad Maričić, Branislav Tomašević, Sonja Kolačarić, Bojana Stefanović, Ljubomir Bandović, Siniša Ubović, Igor Ilić, Ivana Šćepanović, Jelena Helc Vesković, Vjera Mujović, Anastasija Mandić, Milena Sijerković Đorđević, Sena Đorović, Borko Sarić, Kalina Kovačević, Uroš Urošević, etc.
On the other hand, there were many established actors in this production as a counterbalance to young actors, such as Tanasije Uzunović, Miodrag Radovanović Mrgud, Ljiljana Blagojević, Ognjanka Ognjanović, Rada Đuričin, Gorjana Janjić, Ljubivoje Tadić, Radovan Miljanić, Anđelka Milivojević, Srboljub Milin, Dušanka Stojanović Glid, Lepomir Ivković, Andreja Maričić, Branko Jerinić, Dobrila Ćirković, Aleksandra Nikolić, Predrag Miletić, Ljiljana Gazdić, Boško Puletić, etc.
Ružica Sokić was also one of them. She performed in the production until 19th December 2013, the day when she died. Two days after her death, the performance was dedicated to Mrs. Sokić and on that occasion, Mrs. Ljiljana Blagojević addressed the audience and said that for 11 years, in the role of Tijana, the renowned actress was a vital element of the production. Mrs. Blagojević also said, “We will continue living without her, unfortunately. However, we are deeply convinced that she will continue taking care about us and loving us from above; the same way we are convinced that our memory of this great actress, the unique Ružica Sokić, will be treasured in our hearts.”
During the years, the cast has undergone numerous changes, planned and unplanned ones. Many actors have left and come back to this production due to various reasons; often, those were the happiest reasons (more than 20 babies were born in the course of 13 years), but sometimes the absences were caused by health problems.
The production opened 47th Sterijino Pozorje Festival on 1 June 2002.
The Great Drama has been tremendously successful both with the audiences and with the critics. Three awards, two awards to actors (Vuk Kostić – Sterija Award for Acting, Ljiljana Blagojević – The National Theatre’s Award) and an award for text (The “Dragiša Kašiković“ Award), confirm exceptional artistic value of this great and comprehensive play, which has always been very popular with theatregoers.
The Great Drama has always been one of favourite choices in all studies on most popular plays, including the Internet forums, where it is still voted a favourite production according to many people.
Since its premiere on 22nd February 2002, the production has been seen by 100,000 viewers both in the National Theatre and on tours.
This four-hour spectacle toured the country and, besides Belgrade audiences, it was performed for theatre lovers in Trstenik, Pančevo, Vršac, Niš, Lazarevac, Kragujevac, Valjevo, Požarevac, Novi Sad and Obrenovac.
At its 200th performance, the cast will be: Vuk Kostić (Milorad Vučić), Ljiljana Blagojević (Vidosava Vučić), Tanasije Uzunović (Zarija Vučić), Miodrag Radovanović (Milorad Vučić), Aleksandra Nikolić (Tijana), Rada Đuričin (Zorka Vučić), Sonja Kolačarić (Maria Helga Hoffmann), Radovan Miljanić (Savo Vukotić – Cicko), Viktor Savić (Batrić Vučić), Hadži Nenad Maričić (Stevan Vučić), Iva Stefanović (Darinka), Branislav Tomašević (Danilo Vučić), Srboljub Milin (Stojan, the priest), Lepomir Ivković (Novak Sekulović), Andreja Maričić (Đorđija Labović), Branko Jerinić (Svetozar Jankulov), Bojan Krivokapić (Momir Vučić), Ivana Šćepanović (Zorka Vučić), Kalina Kovačević (Jelistina Vučić), Saša Sinđelić (Branka Vučić), Strahinja Popović (Zarija Vučić), Vjera Mujović (Vjera), Milena Đorđević (Janica), Minja Peković (Tijana), Dobrila Ćirković (Krstina Vučić), Predrag Miletić (Ranko Mijović), Uroš Urošević (Miloš, the accused), Branislava Zorić Vasović (Maria Helga Hoffman), Boško Puletić (Branko Lazović), Nikolina Bogdanović (Ranko Mijović’s wife), Predrag Vasić (Ranko Mijović’s son), Borko Sarić (Dutina), Iva Ignjatović (Olga), Zoran Milovanović (Aleksandar) and Ljiljana Cincar Danilović (Pioneer girl).
Željko Hubač is the dramaturge, Geroslav Zarić designed the set, Marina Vukasović Medenica designed the costumes and Ksenija Zečević wrote the music for the production.