H. IBSEN, ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, CROATIAN NATIONAL THEATRE in SPLIT
‘Enemy of the People’ thrilled the audience: Delmestre shows how Ibsen is current today, especially in Split where fighting the ‘swamp’ is genuine
A packed full house Croatian National Theatre – Split followed the premiere of the play by Henrik Ibsen ‘Enemy of the People” directed by Nenni Delmestre with a huge applause . The text was adapted by Elvis Bosnjak , who also played the title role of Dr. Stockmann, a doctor who fights against the swamp, the real and moral quagmire.
Lovers of classical drama where delighted , Bosnjak “cleaned” Ibsen’s text while making it fast paced and contemporary. The play is cleaned up of it’s archaic style more and more as the drama progresses.
Delmestre, celebrating her 70th direction, very subtly, yet masterfully revealed how Ibsen after more than a century is still current, despite new means of communication. She revealed the struggle between truth and lies, exposed the manipulation of the media and it’s influence in the uncritical mass, but also the power of the individual. Should an individual be cruxified when he fights for justice and truth? Delmestre offers optimism in the embrace shared by the main characters at the end. They will stay and fight.We can find Ibsen’s most famous ‘swamp’ in our time. Didn’t Split just started the fight? Aren’t there individuals being cruxified, facing charges, media lynch, are they failing? Aren’t changes starting to come? Yes.Delmestre succeeded in conveying that faith in the individual and belief in changes.
Živana Živković Šušak 22.01.2017
BRUTALLY CONCRETE… Jasmina Parac 17.01.2017
Croatian National Theatre in Split’s saturday night premiere of Henrik Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People” directed by Nenni Delmestre and adapted by Elvis Bosnjak, the audience’s opinion was expresssed by their long lasting applause…
Ibsen prophetically wrote about today’s moral horizontal codes…
Maja Pejkovic Kacanski 19.01.2017
… for all these reasons, it’s appealing for the older generation but also for the younger ones; for those who gave up, and those who still hope; revolutionaries, and conformists. A strong impression is guaranteed … And that it’s a work that way back in its time took a good look into the future, is clearly evident from the audiences’s applause 135 years later, baffled and awakened by the questions it raises.
Hajdi Biuk, 1.2.2017
Nenni Delmestre, celebrating her 70th direction, created this performance with her inventive stage effects leaving us with lasting and powerful impressions …
This is not unusual because almost every modern serious play focuses on the issues mentioned in this play, but when the main actor is concerned with the main themes of the performance because they reflect his personal point of view which he wrestles with unwavering persistence, then the play bursts with credibile acting, with courage, energy and commitment to the character powered by personal adrenaline.
Maja Jurica 04.02.2017
The battle between truth and lies, the manipulation of the media, the power of the individual. This is what, among other things, can be read out from Henrik Ibsen’s “’Enemy of the People” directed by Nenni Delmestre, in an adaptation by Elvis Bosnjak who also played the lead role. And this reading, judging from the audiences reaction at the premiere,was to their liking.
Split’Theater’s “Enemy of the People” emphasized the importance of the individual in society …
MY CHILD, M.Bartlett, CNT Split
“Hate in the name of love “ Jasmina Parić, Slobodna Dalmacija, 17.07.2009.
After the long ovation received by the team of My Child in Diocleatian´s Basement, you could feel in the audience the pain and feeling for what they had just watched. You couldn’t ask for a better recommendation for the first opening of Split’s Summer Festival, a piece of great artistic force was created, honest to the point of cruelty, a bitter essence of our everyday to which no one can stay indifferent except perhaps a follower of the Bible’s Pharisee who says: “Thank God, I’m not like the rest.”
The director Nenni Delmestre (with the assistance of Lina Vengoechea who designed the stage resembling a ring) threw into the audience’s face this family´s woes without allowing them the distance of “this side of the stage.” Into the audience, in close contact with the actors as active participants of the problem, practically fall the harsh words and they can almost feel in their own skin the slaps and kicks in the stomach. Of the seriousness of this team’s work is witness the seldom seen interaction, concentrated collaboration on stage and absence of overacting and theatricality…
THE GOD OF CARNAGE, J. Reza, CNT Split
“Six pieces plus one performance” Lada Martinac Kralj, Theater 37/39, 2009.
Nevertheless, the biggest task in this play is to find its key. The procedure which takes the small traces of petty realism out of Reza´s text, while creating characters and their internal relationships at the same time, leaves plenty of space for the humor produced by a series of verbal and nonverbal misunderstandings which, most surely, have many layers and yet simple in the end. Anyway, Split´s God of Carnage can be read through all its layers – from satiric comedy to black humor grotesque.
The God of Carnage is without a doubt one of Nenni Delmestre´s funniest shows. The humor she and her actors very rightly so searched for in Reza´s intentions is always directed to the pursue of moments of misunderstanding. The source of these misunderstandings is varied – from the use of words which challenge the strength of attitudes, from loyalty of spouses to uncomfortable honesty. When physical comedy needed to be “added”, Delmestre did so without overdoing it but without letting pass the ball of humor which the audience caught with pleasure and appreciation. It´s very refreshing to laugh in theater, especially when it flows from Reza´s analytical capacity.
NEIGHBORHOOD UPSIDE DOWN, Nina Mitrovic,Drama Theater from Skopje
The first opening night in this year’s Ohrid Summer, Neighborhood Upside Down , produced by the Drama Theater from Skopje in “St. Clement of Ohrid School” yard was the type of process where director (Nenni Delmestre) and actors synchronously create an engaging, urban, unconventional, sharp and intense performance out of the grotesque characteristics intrinsic in the heroes’ social levels.
…The staging accentuated the absurdity deeply rooted in reality. It called for the redemption of sins which are the evil consequence of a life, turned upside down, a world where men and gods are intertwined. The honest performance given by the actors resulted in a sound communication with the audience. The roles are more or less a study of characters, easily recognizable thanks to the excellent interpretation given by the actors. Each persona is exactly that – a character with all its particularities and individualities. In this way, tragic becomes comic through the actors’ honest and minimalist acting.
All seventeen actors achieved excellent creations night before last at the opening of Neighborhood Upside Down in Ohrid Summer Festival. They were the stars of the night. All of them, each with his own torments, told seven stories about man and his attitude towards the distorted and deceiving environment he lives in. Director Nenni Delmestre with full force, unpretentiously reached her goal. The audience, without any doubts, got the message.
“Vest” 16.07.2007 (Aleksandra Radevska writes)
Ovations for cruel neighborhood reality
The show Neighborhood Upside Down by Croatian author Nina Mitrovic had its festival opening in the 47 th Ohrid Summer. A crude and direct text, tragic scenes and heavy doses of irony drove the audience to live with the actors, to be happy and to protest with them against the times we live in… The audience’s reaction was just as powerful as the performances given by the actors from the Drama Theater of Skopje, fulfilling in this way all the expectations of director Nenni Delmestre, who with a precise and vital direction endorsed the story told by this contemporary, lively and crude drama.
The audience complimented the actors with a long and sincere applause, heralding just as many reprises.
BEFORE THE DREAM, Lada Kastelan, City Theatre Gavella
“Before the dream” , Igor Ruzic, Radio 101, 01.12.2004
The combination of Lada Kastelan’s text and Nenni Delmestre’s direction proved to be a good idea because Split National Theater’s former director of Drama has achieved her recognized artistic style by directing plays of contemporary themes, where everything that’s important remains unsaid … instead of intervening, seems that Nenni Delmestre was focused on the actors because Gavella’s ensemble, for a long time didn’t sound and nor looked, so dedicated and in tune as now.
THE TEMPEST, W. Shakespeare, CNT – Split
“The Power of our own Shadow”, Anatolij Kudrijavcev, Slobodna Dalmacija, 06.12.2003
We’re talking about a dramatic texture which needs to be tailored by an exceptional group of scenic spirit makers and craftsmen. And that really happened in Split’s production. As a matter of fact, director Nenni Delmestre, for whom it is exactly this type of base that serves as a jumping mat for long flights above the cuckoo’s nest, made all the major moves. Swimming towards the crystal twilight zone where there are no sharp borders and limitations nor superficial logic, the director opened the door to magic multidimensionality and transcendental tricks. She simply achieved that atmosphere of mighty illusions in which people are not physical appearances anymore. Everything that happens in this show holds the power of our own shadow and metaphor, seducing with its sounds and shapes …
“The Show that belongs at the top of this year’s theatre production”, Hrvoje Ivankovic, Jutarnji List, 27.11.2002
Elvis Bosnjak, The River Takes Us , Croatian National Theatre Split, Croatia
Delmestre creates a show of suggestive, almost transcendental atmosphere (painted by subtle music “inputs’ by Lina Vengoechea) and amazing, at moments tearing restrain restriction and suppression. With scenes that are slow paced but charged with inner intensity her show illuminates Bosnjak’s piece from different points of view, using the realness of his character and realism of their speech (dialect of the Dalmatian region) so that apart from individual drama she can underline and contextualize the socio/phenomenological base of the problem of living in a world that more spiritually than materially consequently rejects the civilizational “blows”.
HENRY IV, Luigi Pirandello, Dubrovnik Summer Festival
“The Power of Fiction”, Anatolij Kudrijavcev, Slobodna Dalmacija, 22.08.2000
Pirandello’s unstoppable timelessness was confided to the directorial spiritualization of Nenni Delmestre who as always defies all borders of concrete life avoiding its superficiality … Nenni Delmestre is, as a matter of fact, a master in the art of imagery and her power lies in the design of fiction, actually dreams. She puts together the ephemeral into a bodily exhibit which speaks in voices that come to us from the twilight zone. For her approach she has no need for actors that for the sake of their own exhibition climb the highest peaks, nor those who jump from high cliffs. In her case, she needs acolytes that constantly contribute with all their senses and together they renew their vows.
“Times of Madness – Madness in time”, Dalibor Foretic, Novi List, 28.08.2000
Director Nenni Delmestre, her artistic team and Festival Drama Ensemble, bravely defended and justified this far reaching and brave repertory decision … Delmestre actually opened the show towards the past and towards the present. We don’t acknowledge the greatness of the show only by the meritorious acting with the spoken word, but also by the inventions that give actions a new meaning. Exactly by that Delmestre’s filigree work emotionally and meaningly enriched Pirandello’s text …
THE TWILIGHT ZONE , R. Serling,/D. Lukic, Slovenian National Theatre-Maribor, Slovenia
“Aparitions and dreams”, Anatolij Kudrijavcev, Slobodna Dalmacija, 20.02.1995
… Besides, Nenni Delmestre’s direction systematically represents that point of view also. Everything in it turns into images which make words become helplessly funny. In that eternal track of theatrum mundi live and dead mannequins move alike, apparitions where man is and isn’t present at the same time. Just at it happens in real life, the very same one that amazes us with its dangerous and cruel absurdities. This is the scenic setting in which Nenni Delmestre shows the greatest power and craft, because she is not limited by rigidly fenced words that lead to one-dimensionality. This directorial approach takes pleasure in building up surprising images which connect with the unconsciousness and flow like the magma of challenges. Good and bad, happy and sad, tender and cruel, smart and stupid, female and male – becomes equal and exchanges its roles to gradually achieve the main miracle.
TITUS ANDRONICUS, W. Shakespeare, Theater &td.
“Despair of a Generation”, Ivica Buljan, Nedjeljna Dalmacija, 16.09.1992
Delmestre is a director whose projects, up to now, have distinguished her outside of the general grayness with the luggage she brought from America, and inside them there’s no room for theatre mystification. At the same time, her performances in Split have promoted in our country the unknown female theatre voice, which was declared non existent by cynics because there were no female directors. This would threaten their dominant logophallocentric system, change perspectives and discover new meanings close to deconstruction in literature … Delmestre has done an extremely stylized performance. The text was thoroughly cleaned out of any kind of hypertrophy and Rabelaisque scenes … If there is a message in this performance to be read, it is intrinsic in the very process of work, rawness, muteness, a silence which shows more than any of the chitter chatter so typical in our domestic theater.
WOYZECK, G. Buchner, Venezuela Youth National Theatre – Caracas International Theatre Festival, Venezuela
“Twenty for the Girl from Split”, Ivica Buljan, Slobodna Dalmacija, 17.04.1992
Each project by Nenni Delmestre was a premonition for some disturbing happening. From Marsha Norman to Shepard to Begovic, her shows twinkled with the presence of the Other. Almost pious, precise, studious from the beginning, all the way to the culmination of Begovic’s enigmatic “Adventurer” where Eros and Death fused into one, and the threatening apparitions from “Fire Raisers” moved to Marjan where the last performance of her Simon of Cirenea was garnished with the background sounds effects compliments of enemy helicopters that only few days later would spread death. Here, they point out, that something similar happened with Woyzeck. Delmestre located Buchner’s petty, miserable military world into a workers and and miners neighborhood in Maracaibo … In the show’s program Nenni Delmestre, true to the moral corpus of Buchner’s preoccupations warns about the war in Croatia, as one of the most painful places of a newer world history… the success Nenni Delmestre achieved at the festival, is a good recommendation to our producers to invite her show, but also it’s another proof that our artists receive their recognition when they are abroad, since the mediocre from their own milieu refuse them, because they raise above the ordinary.
“Maracaibo?: Twenty!”, Leonardo Azparren Gimenez, El Nacional, 13.04.1992
G. Buchner, Woyzeck, Venezuelan Youth National Theatre – Caracas International Theatre Festival, Venezuela
… Woyzeck, directed by Nenni Delmestre, is a serious work, performed by an ensemble which gave itself fearlessly and sustained on well-resolved concepts, even if they can be questioned … Delmestre was rigorous in the organization of the actors’ movements on stage, which allowed us to foresee some of the relations between characters following a well-known concept … It can be said that Delmestre’s purpose of pulling Woyzeck out of a system of established reference, makes her work a postmodern attempt.
ADVENTURER AT THE DOOR, Milan Begovic,CNT-Split
“Shine in the dark”, Anatolij Kudrijavcev, Slobodna Dalmacija 1989
… Therefore, the dramaturgical choice which fell on Nenni Delmestre, in this case, was crucial. To put it straight, it’s hard to believe that today this text in the hands of any other of our directors would have successfully aroused such vibrations as in the hands, better said, in the heart, of the young director from Split, … Nenni Delmestre definitely disregarded every presumption of conventional situations and with conviction sailed into a stylization that went beyond the borders of the commonplace. At the same time she safeguarded with amazing easiness the sequence of material facts, even the continuity of the story in spite of the high temperature, and the more the tension of the story raised the less she held to the ground for support … If this Split show doesn’t receive many more praises and all kinds of important awards that would then be a theatrical injustice.
FOOL FOR LOVE, Sam Shepard, CNT – Split
“New Wave”, Anatolij Kudrijavcev, Slobodna Dalmacija, 10.06.1987
Young director Nenni Delmestre- let’s say it clearly, without a doubt – brought to Split’s stage a new, captivating breath … her directorial approach continually seeks and multiplies its findings. It is a restless line that behaves like the trace of a hypersensitive seismograph, an unusual case for Split’s stage so used to straight lines, hyperboles and sinusoids, artificial regularities and unintentional trespasses. It’s some sort of new emotion that wishes to fill the entire space where the action takes place and to touch each existing object. It’s a new scenic sensibility …