KOSOVO THEATRE REVIEWS
Reviewed by Bora Shpuza
At first sight, it felt like a modern take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Among the perpetual frolicking of colors, bodies, sounds and shades, words and shapes waltzed across the stage. Rainbow threads framed the view and pervaded the actors’ outfits.
Positively cheerful, n’est- ce pas? Except this was not a comedy, and it was not Shakespeare. It was a staging of Pas'Humbja (The Afterloss), a recent production directed and written by Florent Mehmeti, co-authored by Lirak Çelaj and Matt Opatrny, a multi-layered account of soul searching and coming to grips with loss, to put it mildly.
This initial sense of disingenuous bliss quickly gave way to something darker, complete with low lights. We felt ourselves sinking deeper into our seats, as the profound anguish of loss and the seeping
grief of longing sprung forth across the characters’ faces and bodies – as the performers constantly vibrated to rhythmic drumbeats.
Several stories were intertwined here. The frenzied swirls of a distressed couple struggling with pangs of guilt over the loss of their beloved child. The sporadic quivers of a man lamenting his departed friend and a woman mourning her departed sanity. The erratic jolts of a girl who has lost her lover, and her static gaze
into the void – the rainbow threads of her messy floor-length tresses seemed an elongated projection of
Simultaneous waves of movement were interrupted by occasional scenes of dialogue, which added awareness and depth to each story, giving us synchronized accounts of pain: the kind of pain that hurts in so many ways and hits each of us differently. And, like us, the excruciating process of each character tripped through agony and denial, clinging on to the memory of lost loves, desperately seeking closure, seeking hope.
One can only hope.
Produced by: Teatri Oda// written by: Florent Mehmeti // Co-authors: Lirak Çelaj & Matt Opatrny // With: Albina Krasniqi, Alketa Sylaj, Arbesa Hysenaj, Ermal Sadiku, Hajat Toçilla, Labinot Raci, Margarita Ukaj, Qëndresa Jashari, Redon Kika, Tahir Beqiri, Zana Berisha // Assistant director: Daniela Markaj // Visual concept and light design: Yann Perregaux // Music: Donika Rudi // Singers: Kaltrina Miftari, Qëndresa Jashari, Zana Berisha // Costumes: Martina Shtufi // Technicians: Mursel Bekteshi, Pajtim Krasniqi, Bujar Bekteshi