Last night, the actors from the Vojdan Chernodrinski Theater in Prilep performed the theatrical play “Decameron” by Giovanni Boccaccio on the festival stage of Dolni Saraj as part of the drama program of the “Ohrid Summer” festival. The play was directed by Martin Kochovski.
This is a play that follows the cycle of existence, where humans, through a continuous struggle against cosmic or divine injustices, manage explosively to elevate their spirits. It strongly touches on delicate aspects of society, bringing an inspiring joy through the theatrical act. “Decameron” is a play full of life. It is based on Giovanni Boccaccio’s humanistic platform and speaks of the human will for life, the joy of the “here and now,” human resilience, and the strength of the human spirit within the ephemeral nature of happiness and the lessons of tragedy.
According to the playwright Lidija Mitoska Gjorgievska, the play has a fragmentary dramaturgy because, as she states, each scene is a separate story.
-It was a challenging task to select the scenes, that is, which novellas to include in the play, because they are not inherently connected. The audience usually expects a continuous story, but here is no such thing. In our case, the stories are connected on a different level, I would say, on an emotional level. The play was a significant undertaking, and my preparation took a long time, almost a whole year before we started rehearsals. What I wrote, director Martin embellished. He used what I managed to extract, but he enriched it and brought out the joy from the entire dramatization, which means a lot to me. I feel blessed to work with the actors from Prilep’s theater group because they have something to offer. Each actor is unique, with special talents and sensibilities, and all of this makes the whole production rich, says the playwright of the play “Decameron,” Lidija Mitoska Gjorgievska.
According to the actor Ilija Volcheski, “Decameron” requires immense concentration and precision because even a small mistake can potentially bring the performance down.
– Each of us, the actors, appears in different scenes with different roles. Each of us has at least one or two scenes where we have a leading role, while in the rest we have supporting roles. The preparation for the performance took more than three months. It’s complex and relies on many technical elements such as sets, lighting, props, and everything needs to be in precise positions. It requires immense concentration and precision because if someone is in the wrong place at a certain moment or delivers a wrong line, the entire energy of the scene and the performance can collapse, explains Volcheski.
“The Decameron” theater performance is not the first collaboration between the actors from Prilep and the director Martin Kochovski.
“With director Martin Kochovski, we have collaborated many times before. That’s why it’s much easier for us to understand each other, to know his ideas, and how we, as actors, believe we should realize and enhance that idea. But even though we have had joint projects, it’s still a challenge to work with him. When it comes to the combination of the Prilep Theater and Martin Kochovski, it’s always a large number of actors, a big team, and a good performance. The Prilep Theater was last at the ‘Ohrid Summer’ festival in 2015, also with a performance directed by Martin Kochovski, and now, after almost eight years, we’re returning to the festival stage. When we work on these performances, we try to have fun in them so that we can enjoy our work and not feel like we’re just going to a job. And when it comes to working with Martin, it means that it won’t only be fun, but also demanding and nerve-wracking. But in the end, everything has perfect results,” adds actress Angela Naumoska.
By the end of this year’s 63rd edition, the drama program of the “Ohrid Summer” festival will offer two more theater performances: “Nora” by Henrik Ibsen, directed by Nela Vitošević, performed by the City Theatre Ljubljana from Slovenia, and the play “The Lie” by Florian Zeller, directed by Nikola Ljuca, which will be performed by actors from the Belgrade Drama Theatre, Serbia, at the closing ceremony.