Resources / Cardenio / Croatia

Histrionic Love Woes

Marijan Oresnik
Histrion Hall, Zagreb, Croatia
July-August, 2008

The play was staged by Histrion Actors' Company from Zagreb, directed by Mr. Zelimir Mesaric, and translated by Marijan Oresnik.



Anđelko (Anselmo), Amar Bukvić

Klara (Camila), Iva Mihalic

Vilim (Will), Janko Popovic Volaric

Doris, Jasna Palic Picukaric

Suzana (Susan), Marija Boric

Silvija (Sylvia), Ana Maras

Alfred, Boris Pavlenic

Lara, Mirjana Majurec

Edo (Edmund), Branko Smiljanic

Stef (Rudy), Ronald Zlabur

Marek and Barek (maids and singers), Jadranka Gracanin and Morena Kovac


Assistant Director, , Iva Srnec

Set Designer, Miljenko Sekulic

Costumes, Marita Copo

Composer, Josip Cvitanovic

Musicians (folk instrument players), Ranko Puric, Krsto Lalic, Dino Celizic, Vjekoslav Klescic and Natko Gaberc


The original roles of Melchiore and Simonetta were abandoned, but some of their lines used. The play was relocated to Zagorje, a rural region of north-west Croatia. A mixture of standard Croatian and the Croatian Kajkavic dialect was spoken. Traditional folk songs and composed songs were played, with musicians and singers dressed in Zagorje folk costumes. Part One is one hour long, and Part Two some 50 minutes. There was a fifteen minute interval.

The premiere took place on July 12, 2008, preceeded by two pre-premieres. Among guests of honor were the mayor of Zagreb attended and one of the authors, Mr. Stephen Greenblatt. The opening night was also the opening night of 23rd Zagreb Histrionic Summer, a traditional annual summer theatrical event by Histrion located at Opatovina (old part of central Zagreb). 

The play had 15 reading rehearsals getting the final language shape along the way due to planned usage of standard Croatian, urban Zagreb Kajkavian dialect and pure Zagorje Kajkavian. The rehearsals took place indoors, in the Histrion Hall, followed by 25 acting rehearsals, also indoors. Final 10 rehearsals took place in the open, at the Opatovina stage in front of a mansion which used to be one of the towers of the medieval defence wall, some of which is still adjacent to the house. It was an almost ideal setting for the play and its needs. Additional sets were made of chairs, tables, an improvised stage etc. 

The last July/August performance took place on August 2, 2008. A total of 17 performances took place, 16 in Zagreb (five indoors at Histrion Hall, due to rain) and one in Varaždin (50 miles from Zagreb) on July 21, 2008. The seventeen performaces of the play were attended by close to 7000 viewers, the audience often to full capacity, and additional seats were added usually during Friday and Saturday performances. The public enjoyed the play based on well known Histrion approach: enthusiastic and spontaneous acting, humor, music, local adaptation. 

Information and reviews appeared in the written media, TV, radio and online.