A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Project Shakespeare, after William Shakespeare’s Play, Directed by Kokan Mladenović, Premieres on the Main Stage

8 October 2019

Performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, after William Shakespeare’s play, directed by Kokan Mladenović, featuring an exclusively female cast comprised of 15 actresses, premiered on the Main Stage on the 8th October.

From an enchanted forest, the place of revealing capricious human nature, instability of love, debauchery and freedom, where tricks and magic intertwine with psychology, Mladenović places the plot into a women’s prison, where inmates stage a play by an English poet within a resocialization project funded by the Ministry.  

Thus, when one of the most captivating stories about freedom is placed in the context of prison, it further intensifies relationships and emotions, and gives some scenes a completely surprising context.

The cast is a direct antithesis to Shakespearean theatre practise where all the roles used to be interpreted by men, while in this version the roles are interpreted solely by women.

In addition, it turns out that Shakespeare is a litmus test for reading all deficiencies of a system, because it reveals deviations of a closed and isolated environment…

The performance was met with appreciation by the audience, who rewarded the cast with a long applause. The cast: Radmila Živković (Prison Warden), Aleksandra Nikolić (Professor), Dušanka Stojanović Glid (Oberon), Vanja Ejdus (Titania), Sanja Marković (Puck), Marija Vicković (Demetrius), Nina Nešković (Helena), Jovana Belović (Lysander), Isidora Simijonović (Hermia), Ivana Šćepanović (Egeus), Danijela Ugrenović (Bottom/Pyramus), Lidija Pletl (Wall), Vanja Milačić (Thisbe), Bojana Bambić (Moonshine) and Milena Đorđević (Cabinet Minister).

Mladenović adapted the text together with Dimitrije Kokanov and Željko Hubač, who are dramaturges in the production. Bojana Nikitović designed the costumes, Marija Kalabić designed the sat and Irena Popović composed music for this production.

This has been the sixth staging of play A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the National Theatre in Belgrade. Previous premieres took place on 4th April 1910 (directed by Milorad Gavrilović), 26th March 1912 (Sava Todorović), 25th June 1920 (Aleksandar Vareshchagin), 11th September 1931 (Yuri Lvovich Rakitin) and on 26th September 1997 (Nikita Milivojević).

A Midsummer Night’s Dream was also staged as a ballet production in the National Theatre. It was adapted by Lucian Ionescu, directed and choreographed by Mihaela Atanasiu, and the premiere took place on 10th December 1987.