Rehearsals of Sterija's Comedy “The Upstart” Directed by Iva Milošević Have Begun

4 April 2024

The rehearsals of the play “The Upstart” have begun at the National Theatre in Belgrade, based on the text by Jovan Sterija Popović and directed by Iva Milošević, who has expressed her desire that this play should correspond with the current feeling of reality and be based on the sensibility of the present moment.

The premiere is planned for May 25 at the “Raša Plaović” Stage.

Dramaturge Molina Udovički Fotez, set designer Gorčin Stojanović, costume designer Boris Čakširan, composer Vladimir Pejković and Ljiljana Mrkić Popović (stage speech) are the members of the artistic team of this theatrical work the roles in which will be played by Nataša Ninković, Iva Milanović, Slobodan Beštić, Ivana Šćepanović, Aleksandar Vučković, Sena Đorović, Aleksandar Đurica and Dragan Sekulić.

“In addition to the comic element, Sterija also brings before us a darker view of the life of inhabitants of a small provincial town, their philistine and calculating minds. Fema is in the centre of a simple and primitive environment that she mocks and despite the fact that she materialises her parvenu pretensions for a better life in an aggressive and ignorant way, there is something tragicomic and absurd in her existential situation. The cruelty and brutality of a milieu, the spiritual narrow mindedness of the characters and how they are morally challenged, are the basis for creating a play that would criticise and ridicule all phenomena within the milieu and mentality dominated by spiritual narrow mindedness and annihilates an individual who opposes it," says the director Milošević.

“I want our staging of The Upstart to correspond with the current feeling of reality and to be based on the sensibility of the present moment. I want the play to ponder about the possibility of changing aggression in communication and action that is deeply rooted by upbringing and legacy, both among those who are the pillars of everything that is primitive backward and intolerant in the provincial environment, and among those who, out of desperation, strive for a superficially understood sublime existence. I don't want a naively ironic Biedermeieresque enlightening play about our past, but a tragicomic look at the continuity of the provincial spirit in Serbia,” Iva Milošević says.
This will be the eighth production of Sterija's comedy of character written in 1838 at the National Theatre in Belgrade.

Thanks to Mihovil Logar, who composed the music, and Hugo Klajn, who wrote the libretto based on the original text, “The Upstart” was part of the opera repertoire of the National Theatre on three occasions.