About the performance

The first known version of the Epic of Gilgamesh emerged as an ode to Gilgamesh, the heroic leader, who stood up to the gods and confronted death with his military campaign and the search for bodily immortality. However, the Epic of Gilgamesh evolved through time. This was governed by the changes in society and the changed attitude of people towards gods. Thus, in the later version, the story was set in a narrative frame of an autobiography in the third person, and it included Gilgamesh’s death.

The text thus includes both, Gilgamesh’s heroic rebellion against death as well as his human confrontation with death! Text becomes a polygon of heroic masks that Gilgamesh puts on but is then forced to take off and cry for them – so that he could face his death and become merely a man amongst people.

Gilgrieving is an event; it is a mourning ritual; ritual lamentation and grieving for Gilgamesh’s heroic masks. Two performers, two actors, two individuals one for the other, one supporting the other as well as one at the expense of the other; they show their versions of Gilgamesh’s masks; in their persistence they tire, bury the masks and grieve for them. All of this in the name of staring death in the eyes. Through the epic poem to their own skin; through laughter to the screams of wounded animals; through one own’s body to the contact with the physicality of the other. Gilgrieving is a dance with death!


Translations: Mirko Avsenak and Andrew George
Directed by: Tjaša Črnigoj
Costume design: Tijana Todorović Sound design and music: Aleš Zorec Light design: Tjaša Črnigoj Proofreading: Kristina Anželj
Performers: Rok Kravanja Andraž Jug
Head of the technical team: Grega Mohorčič
Executive producer: Anja Pirnat Produced by: Glej Theatre