The Satyriconiade leads us through the lowest social strata; through a chaotic, illusory and dispersed reality; a reality in which money, appearance and power are valued above all. The copyrighted project is based on the motifs of Petronius’ Satyricon, which belongs to the genre of »the ancient novel« and has been preserved only in fragments, being supposedly written during Nero’s time (1st century AD). The Satyricon is comprised of varied material which intertwines and juxtaposes the various genres of its time, turning them on their head. It is marked by fragmentariness both at the level of its »injured body« of text and at the level of genre diversity and the narrated reality.
Froma I. Zeitlin believes that the Satyricon anticipates the later picaresque novel, but points out that its protagonist, Encolpius, is not a typical pícaro. According to Zeitlin, it is this that reveals the novel’s specific standpoint regarding the then social reality and the human’s place in it. A real pícaro would find his way through a chaotic reality by affirming its illusory nature and by artfully manipulating it for his own benefit. He would direct his destiny – without considering himself to be any kind of hero. The Satyricon’s protagonist, Encolpius, is not quite at home in the Satyricon reality. Although he is partly a vagabond type and thus is not completely »innocent«, he is unmistakably characterized by the »Don Quixotic« traits and some basic naivety: regardless of what happens to him, he constantly fantasizes about being a hero of a myth, an epic, or a romance. Thus he is disappointed, humiliated and hurt time and again. He is frequently sexually harassed. He is not able to belong to the dispersed Satyricon reality and finds himself often victimized by it. Despite all this, Encolpius’ journey is verbalized through sparkling, regenerating, liberating laughter. The Satyricon thus seems to acknowledge the absurdity of Encolpius’ existence, and Petronius approaches it with a measure of sympathy, evidently committed to it as something that is essentially human.
The Satyriconiade is a kind of an initiation carnival for all the Encolpiuses of this world, a celebration for the not so ingenious, a party for the less than popular at which actors, performers, artists, tracing Satyricon’s motifs, stage the milieux of the Satyricon-esque reality that they could never belong to. The Satyriconiade is a journey into the dispersed body of Petronius’ Satyricon, a journey into the darkness of one’s own lack of power and a journey through one’s inability to belong. In order to find – at the border between anarchy and artistic integrity, between co-playing and counterplaying, between an aggressive body and the sacrificed body – some gap, some bottom, some space in which we could understand, accept and celebrate our own Encolpius-like traits, and commit to them as something that may not belong to the Satyricon-esque reality but which does belong to the essentially human!
The Satyriconiade is the director’s MA graduation performance undertaken in the frames of the second-cycle study programme Theatre and Radio Directing at the Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television, University of Ljubljana.
Director: Tjaša Črnigoj
Text adaptation*: Tjaša Črnigoj, Tjaša Mislej
Performance text: creators of the performance
Dramaturgy: Tjaša Mislej
Costume design: Tina Bonča
Music design and selection: August Adrian Braatz
Scene design: Tjaša Črnigoj, Anja Pirnat
Proofreading: Klasja Kovačič
Technical support: Andrej Firm
Producers: Nika Bezeljak, Anja Pirnat
Cast: Andraž Jug, Rok Kravanja, Vid Klemenc
Mentors (the Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television, Theatre Directing): Prof. MA Tomislav Janežič, Assist. Prof. Janez Janša
Photography: Andrej Firm
* The adapted text uses excerpts from the text Petronijev Satyrikon by Nebojša Pop-Tasić.
Premiere, 21st September 2018, Intimate stage, GT22, Maribor
Thanks to Maši Jazbec, Nebojši Pop-Tasiću, Tini Pavlović, Branki Pavlič, Lenki Đorojević, Katarini Rešek, Klemnu Janežiču, Benjaminu Krnetiću, Stanetu Tomazinu, Lizi Mariji Grašič, Olji Grubić
The project has been supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the City Municipality of Maribor.