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After Five Kings by Olivier Kemeid and historical chronicles by William Shakespeare


Director Livija Pandur

World premiere
Translator Primož Vitez
Adaptation by Tibor Hrs Pandur, Livija Pandur
Opening March 2024


Dramaturg and director Livija Pandur has created a remarkable body of work in Slovenian and international theatre. As a dramaturg, she co-created the entire oeuvre of the late director Tomaž Pandur. In recent years she has focused intensely on directing. Her productions include Immaculate/Immaculata (Drama SNT Maribor, 2016) which had was to stage with Tomaž Pandur, as well as a revival of ballet Symphony of Lonesome Songs (SNT Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, 2017), and The Penelopiad (SNT Drama Ljubljana, 2022).
Kings, an adaptation of Five Kings: l'histoire de notre chute (2015), a play by Canadian director and playwright Olivier Kemeid, is based on two tetralogies, i.e., on the octology of William Shakespeare's historical chronicles (Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI and Richard III). 
Olivier Kemeid (born in 1975 in Montreal) is a Canadian playwright and theatre director, artistic director of Trois Tristes Tigres, a theatre company he founded in 2003, and artistic director of Théâtre de Quat'Sous in Montreal (since 2016). His published plays include also L’Énéide (2008) and Moi, dans les ruines rouges du siècle (2013); his three plays were all nominated for the Canadian Governor General's Award for French-language drama. 
Shakespeare's “great mechanism of history” (Kott), in which power is transferred by the rise of a new king who kills the previous one, is condensed by Kemeide into the story of the Snow, Fire, Iron, Sand and Blood Kings.
The infernal machine of hangmen and victims repeats itself in the cycle of history, following the same pattern over and over again: a rise is followed by a fall. Invariably, the protagonists of this mechanism, caught in a web of relationships, are individuals who, in the midst of their power struggle, in the pursuit of survival and social advancement, search in vain for their own reflection in a broken mirror that no longer echoes their true reflection.
In a new adaptation by Livija Pandur and Tibor Hrs Pandur, Kings will attempt to answer whether Shakespeare's “great mechanism” is still at work in our time when the cycles of power are governed by the cycles of economic crises and growth. Have we moved back to a period in which few privileged families are positioned so high above the law that they can haphazardly discard the ever-growing portion of the population made redundant by the capital? Has contemporary society of surveillance been mirrored already in the stuffy palaces of the bloodthirsty Henrys and Richards? 

»When exactly did the history of our downfall begin?« 
                                                 (Olivier Kemeid Five Kings)