Rok Vilčnik rokgre is a Slovenian writer, poet, playwright, director, screenwriter and dramaturg. He is a recipient of several awards, including three Grum Awards for best new play, the Glazer Charter for his achievements in the field of culture, and two Gracious Comedy Quill Awards, most recently for True Heroes, acerbic comedy, in 2020.
In consumer society, funeral trade can be a lucrative business. Ingemar Ferš knows it all too well, so he wants to turn his private cemetery in Maribor into the cutting-edge funereal resort of Europe and call it Eternal Luxury. The cemetery, however, will have to be moved to a new location in order to lay out a mass grave site for home guard members (anti-communist collaborationist troops of the Second World War). Next to the relocation site, a pothole filled with bones of the partisans is discovered. A laborious job of separating bones of the home guard members from the rest of the pile as well as the relocation itself is assigned to the limp, one-legged Canek. A pack of hungry dogs has snatched off the home guard bones, so Ferš has a brainwave to refill the mass grave with the partisan bones that Canek has discovered on the new location. “Bones are bones, they aren’t people, they only make us quarrel,” says Ferš, “it’s high time we buried them.”
True Heroes is an acerbic black comedy dealing with numerous neuralgic points of contemporary Slovenian society in a candid and unrestraint manner. These include selling-out state-owned property to foreign owners, wild privatization, ongoing and constant strife between the lefties and the right-wingers, the us-and-them divide, traumatic and unresolved views of recent history, exploitation of the little man, dodgy business deals, consumerism gone wild, power-hunger politics. The comedy, written in Maribor dialect from the perspective of the little man struggling to survive, sets a mirror to contemporary Slovenian reality: everything is for sale, it is no longer clear who are the executioners and who are the victims, profit making has become the essence of our existence, and human beings are considered nothing but a liability. A living person is but a burden, while a corpse may generate profit.
Vilčnik’s dialogues are cruel and hilarious. Their inherent truthfulness frightens us and makes us laugh at the same time. In absurd situations we recognise the reality of everyday life. His characters are made of flesh and blood, each fighting their own fight, struggling to survive at all costs. To believe in superheroes seems to be the only way out of the little man’s predicament, and yet Vilčnik makes us roll in the aisles.
In consumer society, funeral trade can be a lucrative business.
Director Samo M. Strelec
Dramaturg Alja Predan
Set Designers Samo M. Strelec, Patrik Komljenović
Costume Designer Belinda Radulović
Composer Miha Petric
Author of Stage Illustrations Patrik Komljenović
Lighting Designers Denis Kresnik, Samo M. Strelec
Language Consultant Simon Šerbinek
Canek Aljoša Koltak
Ferš Renato Jenček
Lilika Lucija Harum guest artist
Oma Gojmir Lešnjak Gojc guest artist
Dr. Žnuderl Rastko Krošl
Batman Tarek Rashid
Opening night 10 September 2021
Performance duration 1 hour 40 minutes. One interval.
Stage Manager Anže Čater • Prompter Simona Krošl • Lighting Master Denis Kresnik •Sound Masters Drago Radaković, Gregor Počivalšek • Projection Manager Kristina Peunik • Front-of-house Manager David Vitez •Props Master Roman Grdina •Make-up Designers Marjana Sumrak, Andreja Veselak Pavlič • Wardrobe Masters Melita Trojar, Mojca Panič • Tailor Marija Žibret • Seamstress Ivica Vodovnik •Head of Construction Gregor Prah • Assistant Technical Manager Rajnhold Jelen • Technical Manager Aleksandra Štern