Culture Supplement

"The Lieutenant of Inishmore" cannot defeat the violent man

"The Lieutenant of Inishmore"

"The Lieutenant of Inishmore" speaks of a new generation addicted to violence. The characters are mostly young and this makes the narrative more strange. The show itself is set in a world of strange circumstances. It is such a show that puts the fate of the cat before that of the human (Photo: Etnik Nrecaj)

Man as a violent being is not fought in "The Lieutenant of Inishmore". Human nature is like that, terror is fought with terror, but it doesn't stop. The play with text by Martin McDonaugh directed by Gjorgji Rizeski premiered at the "Adriana" theater in Ferizaj, does not pretend to be a catharsis. The main drama focuses on finding the killer and in fact everyone is. Staged and banned in many countries of the world, "Lieutenant..." does not censor the violence, abuse, blood or the dark side of being.

Through terror, the play "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" combats terrorism and satirizes its nature. With a text by the British-Irish playwright Martin McDonaugh and directed by Gjorgji Rizeski from North Macedonia, the play that premiered at the "Adriana" theater on Friday night was special from what is usually in the repertoire. 

The narrative is set in Ireland in the 90s. The main character is a kind of punisher of negative phenomena in society. A member of the Irish army, Mad Padraic, abuses a drug dealer. This is kind of like an intro to the show.

But the main drama focuses on finding the killer of his cat, which he loves more than anything. The main character Padraic, played by actor Blin Mani, returns to his home on the island of Inishmore, where he learns that his cat is not sick, but killed. Aims for revenge. Kills four other people and cats. 

"The Lieutenant of Inishmore" speaks of a new generation addicted to violence. The characters are mostly young and this makes the narrative more strange. The show itself is set in a world of strange circumstances. It is such a show that puts the fate of the cat before that of the human.

The main character in some form seems to bring the tradition of physical strength from where he practiced as a soldier. Nothing is more sacred than his cat. Not even his father, whom he sees as a suspect in the cat's murder. Often the comic is mixed with violence. But the director's approach means that there is hardly any place for this first one. 

Director Gjorgji Rizeski, who for the first time worked with a troupe of actors from Kosovo, said that what is considered a black comedy, they made it look more serious. 

"This is a very famous show. It's played in 49 languages, but it's no different than the others. This is the kind of show that makes you laugh, but we did it differently, even the opposite. It's a kind of easy contrast", said Rizeski for KOHEN. 

He expressed his happiness for the way the show turned out in the first staging at the "Adriana" theater in Ferizaj. 

"This is the first time I've directed this show and I'm sure I won't do it again. So mission accomplished. We had a good time. We saw that the audience felt the energy through the actors. It is very important to see that the actors love the play on stage. This was very important in terms of cooperation with them", said the internationally known director, who has been awarded many prizes for his work. 

Rizeski was born in 1991 in Skopje. He graduated in theater directing and completed his specialist studies in Dramaturgy at the University of Audiovisual Arts - European Academy of Film and Theater ESRA. He is employed as a theater director at the National Theater of Ohrid. During his career, he has directed more than 30 plays that have brought him important awards and has participated in many events, workshops and theater festivals in the country and abroad. He has also published a book entitled "See beyond closed eyes".

Violence, gunshots, scenes and explicit language accompany the whole show. The stage of the theater often becomes the arena of duel between characters (Photo: Etnik Nrecaj)

According to the biography, his productions are modern and powerful, his performances have earned him a reputation for shocking and controversial works of high artistic standard. Like being the stage director of a McDonough play. 

Violence, gunshots, scenes and explicit language accompany the whole show. The stage of the theater often becomes the arena of the duel between the characters. 

Actor Arben Marevci said that the show was completely different from the previous ones, also because of the nature of the director's show. 

"It's a different process than other times, not because the director is more special than the others we've worked with. He knew exactly what his requirements were from the first day and that's how we functioned. Very quickly we moved on from reading rehearsals on stage. We had enough time for everyone to fulfill their role. Because it is not an easy job. Even physically, it requires commitment. Everyone should also deal with the scenography and the role", said Marevci. 

He appreciated the play "Lieutenant of Inishmore" as an interesting choice to read differently. He considered the characters challenging to play. 

"They are unusual characters, they have a lot of violence within them, they are quite wild as characters. They don't think about anything other than murder, revenge that they have all the time in their heads. The tension within us has perhaps helped us to look more difficult as characters, more criminal", he said further. 

All the dramatic developments, the sad events, the minimal comedy and everything else, have but one trigger: the killing of a cat. There the absurdity of the whole drama is revealed and that the violence is now irreversible. At one point, Padraic confronts Kristin, who prevents the lieutenant's father from being killed. 

But even though he is captured, it seems that the fighting spirit of the main character triumphs. A large cloud of dust engulfs the entire scene before a series of gunshots begin. Lighting and music in this case play a role in increasing the effects of dynamics, alongside the powerful crackling of weapons. 
Actor Marevci said that they tried to minimize these types of scenes, so that the message goes to the public through the show as a whole. 

"We have been spared a few more krismas that are predicted in the show, much more than that. Precisely because of the public so that we do not cause more trauma. In this case with krismas, because it should go to the public as an event, not to be irritated. It's a different process from the shows we've worked on before," said actor Marevci. 

The colors of love are illustrated in some of the scenes where the actress Dora Xhemajli plays. Except at the end, it feels like a confession that looks like a happy ending of love. But it isn't. The main character is pushed towards the bathtub where he is killed by Mairead, played by Xhemajli. 

Actress Dora Xhemajli said that "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" was very interesting and challenging. 
"The show was very different from what we are used to seeing, a little more horror show. They don't bring such things because of the conditions and because people can't stand so much violence, so much violence and explicit scenes, and we have warned that the show is +16 and you have to be careful", said the actress Xhemajli, while talk about her role in the show. "She is a young girl who does not want to be a princess, but a warrior. It's a bit of a problem to play, especially when you have a more playful character. It's a challenging role. It was challenging, but with the help of the director, everything went well and I'm very happy that the audience also liked it", said actress Xhemajli. 

All the dramatic developments, the sad events, the minimal comedy and everything else, have but one trigger: the killing of a cat. The absurdity of the whole drama is revealed there and that the violence is already irreversible (Photo: Etnik Nrecaj)

He considered the cooperation with the director Gjorgji Rizeski to be extraordinary, stressing his professionalism. 

"I personally have acted in quite a few shows, but to work with such a young director who is so prepared, it has not happened to me before. We rehearsed for about a month and two weeks, but we had such a good time, the process went so smoothly, it seemed like a week of work. We are not tired at all, plus considering that it was very hot", she said at the end. 

Actors Mevlan Saraçi, Sherif Bega, Ali Krasniqi and Jajush Ramadani also designed the narration. 

The scenography was another special part. A moving three-dimensional triangle was everything. But turning each of its pages reveals a different story. 

The heat in the theater hall "Adriana" was the only "flaw" in the premiere of the play with which the institution closes the season. 

Playwright Martin McDonough last year accused theaters of refusing to play his plays because he would not allow changes to the text. In 2006, he told the "New Yorker" magazine that the play "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" was a work that could result in his murder as its author. 

"Adriana" theater in the explanation for the play said that it is "a play that has been censored in many theaters in different countries of the world due to real violence". 

The age of the audience to watch this show was limited. Tomorrow is the first rerun of the show and the last one before the closing of the season of the "Adriana" theater. 

Only four days after the premiere and two after the reprise of the "Adriana" theater production, on Tuesday the same play will be staged by the theater of the city of Gjilan under the direction of Shkëlzen Berisha. 
It is a story that needs a happy ending of love. But the opposite happens. Killing off the main character is the ultimate drama.