Created in 2008 by Ivan Talijancic at one of the foremost Slovene repertory theatres, Mladinsko Gledalisce, MALFI is a radical re-interpretation of John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi. The adaptation was created in collaboration with WaxFactory’s longtime artistic associates, dramaturg and playwright Simona Semenic, architecture studio Minimart, cinematographer Antonio Giacomin and sound artists Random Logic, and featuring Mladinsko’s resident ensemble of actors.
Webster’s original places the action of the play in 16th century Italy, where the widowed Duchess secretly marries below her station, and against the societal rules, to her servant Antonio. Her free will spites her brothers, who will stop at nothing to divest her of her power. Ultimately, it comes down to the showdown between the male world, ruled by manipulation and power games, and the female world, ruled by righteousness and emotional truth.
In MALFI, Talijancic and his team conjure up an all-female enclave in the not-too-distant future, which runs according to rigidly established rules including an all-encompassing ban of men. As a punishment for those who violate the enclave’s rules, the women are bound to a ritual re-enactment of Webster’s drama, as an ongoing reminder of the ills born out of a patriarchal society. Fueled by the hatred of past oppressors, the ritual turns into an infernal machine with the denizens of the enclave turning as violent and destructive as their male counterparts.
cast | Maruša Geymayer-Oblak, Neda R. Bric, Damjana Černe, Daša Doberšek, Draga Potočnjak, Marinka Štern, Janja Majzelj, Vesna Vončina, Predrag Mitrović
director | Ivan Talijančić
adaptation | Simona Semenič, Ivan Talijančić
original Slovene translation | Srečko Fišer
assistant director | Jure Novak
dramaturg | Simona Semenič
assistant dramaturg | Simona Hamer
sets | Minimart
music and surround sound design | Random Logic
lights | Andrej Hajdinjak
video | Antonio Giacomin
make-up design | Aleksandra Nikić
styling and costumes | Ivan Talijančić
Mladinsko Theatre website
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