The programme for the 62nd edition of the MESS festival will feature work by Oliver Frljić and Sebastian Nübling
The festival will take place at venues throughout Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 30th September to 9th October will open on 30th September with Oliver Frljić s acclaimed production of The Brothers Karamazov, which premiered at Croatia’s ZKM last year. There will be a second performance on 1st October.
On 2nd October, Tea Ceremony, a piece performed by Marius Ioannou and directed by Achim Wieland that sparked a controversy during its recent performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, will be performed at Sarajevo War Theatre.
On 3rd October, the Athens and Epidaorous Festival production of Republic of Baklava, a “pseudo-documentary” about the 1821 Greek war of Independence will be performed at Sarajevo National Theatre. Selma Spahić’s devised piece Purple will be performed at the Chamber Theatre 55.
On 4th October There will also be an opportunity to see Marius Ioannou and Achim Wieland’s Picture Perfect, conducted via group chat. A Hungarian production of Woyzeck directed by Attila Vidnyanszky Jr will be performed at Sarajevo War Theatre
The programme will also include the premiere of SARA-JE-VO, a contemporary dance performance exploring modern Balkan identity and who it is perceived and experienced by a younger generation, at Sarajevo Youth Theatre on 5th October. Love, by the Italian director Pippo DelBono will also be presented on 5th October at Sarajevo National Theatre. Slovenian director Diego de Brea’s Oedipus the King will be performed on 6th October, followed by an adaption of Goran Vojnovic’s novel Yugoslavia, My Fatherland, from director Marko Misirača.
On 7th October, there will be a four-and-half hour production of Anna Karenina from director Mirko Radonjic at Sarajevo National Theatre. On October 8th, Sebastian Nubling’s production of Saša Stanišić’s book Where You Come From for Germany’s Thalia Theatre
The festival programme concludes on 9th October with the premiere of Why are You Sleeping on the Floor?, a play loosely based on the novel by Darko Cvijetić, directed by Kokan Mladenovic in which Cvijetić also performs.
Founded in 1960, the MESS International Theatre Festival takes place annually in Sarajevo and is the oldest ongoing theatre festival in the Balkans.
For tickets and more information, visit: mess.ba
Further reading: review of Oliver Frljić’s The Brothers Karamazov
Further reading: Mess Festival 2021: The Show Must Go ON
Natasha Tripney is a writer, editor and critic based in London and Belgrade. She is the international editor for The Stage, the newspaper of the UK theatre industry. In 2011, she co-founded Exeunt, an online theatre magazine, which she edited until 2016. She is a contributor to the Guardian, Evening Standard, the BBC, Tortoise and Kosovo 2.0