The answer to a question, does this society know of a change for the better, posed by the director Nebojsa Bradić with Gogolian interpretation of Kovačević’s “Limunation”, is unfortunately negative. From the beginning, when teacher Sreta (excellent Dejan Cicmilović) arrives at a remote Serbian village, where nothing is right and “human”, including Maksa, the famulus, (moderately travestied Dragan Jovanović), until a disaster when the same tribune, blindfolded, as if on French barricades, but on ladders instead, utters a terrible lamentation over his dark, corrupt, toothless, poor, ruined homeland, we will laugh a lot, to avoid crying over our “cruel fate”…

Ćir Djordje (vigorous, excellent Aleksandar Mihailović), in Nušić’s (read Gogol’s), and then Kovačević’s manner, Aromanian is a trader, with a weakness for money and a dashing Hungarian wife (Sanja Krstović) … Officer Mića (outstanding Aleksandar Marinković) is a manipulator and likes (other men’s) wives, and patriotism for him is, of course, “the last haven of scoundrels” … Every hope for deliverance is killed by the recognizable, hopeless clichés from Serbian literature, which “denouncs” the living here … And this is the most painful message of the stage play directed by Nebojsa Bradić … People have neither individuality nor character. They are a moving mob swaying like reed in the wind, while the monstrous organs grow on it like the hands, reached out for deliverance, and deliverance, of course, does not lie in labour…

Instead of Sremac’s picture of Serbian life in the province, Kovačević shows the mud of the mentality, the constant desire to profit from political trickery, to gain “without hard labour”, and with the abundance of scheming. Spinning and botting, as we say today. Bradić turned this whole downfall into a diagnosis of endemic madness, which is not clinical, because it cannot be treated. It has not been said that teacher Sreta did not have noble intentions to change something for the better. But the jealousy and basic instincts of cheap ambition turned that idea completely into a real war, taking place at the celebration of alleged political success (stage movement by Vera Obradović). The war of the neighbours and the like-minded ones, which is the worst! It’s sad and true, though it looks like a grotesque!


Sanja Krstović, as Djuzela, linked this character (istic) anamnesis of the Serbian struggle for progress with European brothels, which is very interesting. Stefan Mladenović (Gara) proves himself to be a versatile actor, excellent as an interpreter of music songs (Zoran Erić) leading the action into universal expressionism. Danilo Petrović (Purko the Cop), Dragoslav Savić (Pera the Scribe), Miroslav Jović (Milisav), Miroljub Nedović (Birov), Marko Pavlovski (Tašule) and Marjan Todorović (Peasant) kept good pace, and excellent concentration, with the mainstream politics of intrigue. And the people (Katarina Mitić, Katarina Arsić, Uroš Milojević, Dejan Gocić), regarding the metaphor of the plot (stage director’s set design), in almost a film-like costume by Marina Vukasović Medenica, created not only the Gogolian genre-picture, but also the true fresco of the local stagnation of politics as a destiny.

Excellent repertoire move by the Theatre in Niš!

Dragana Bošković, Novosti