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Ivo Andrić
The Damned Yard

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Poster: The Damned Yard Repertoire

About the play

"The Damned Yard", novel by Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andrić, served as a template to our play of the same name. His characters find themselves in Istanbul prison and, faced with the slow passage of time, they keep themselves entertained by telling stories – the oldest way to pass time. 

Gallery IVO ANDRIĆ: Prokleta avlija - Milenko Zeko, Igor Kučević, Marijo Glibo IVO ANDRIĆ: Prokleta avlija - Milenko Zeko, Igor Kučević, Marijo Glibo IVO ANDRIĆ: Prokleta avlija - Nikša Marinović, Vojin Perić

In the picturesque stories of Friar Petar, Haim, Zaimaga, Ćamil and Alija, subjects of isolation, tragedy and inevitable bitter fate, fatum, are intertwined through the prism of dark humor. At the same time, hidden form the world, in the female version of “the damned yard”, through their tragic stories women break the western romanticized idea of harem as some kind of a “golden cage”, a paradise wrapped in silk and kadaif. They describe real lives destroyed by gender discrimination still very present and apparent even today.

In an attempt to use the circle as the symbol for the infinite wheel of life which keeps turning, repeating and crushing little human beings, we looked for specific stage arrangements that show this repetitiveness on a symbolic level. Wishing to recreate the epic story line, dramaturge Sibila Petlevski reached for two other source texts: few of Andrić’s shorter literary works, mostly “The Journey of Alija Đerzelez”, few folk songs and Sevdah music whose honesty brings wisdom and experience in the face of which you can’t stay indifferent. With this play I wanted to continue the research which started about ten years ago with Felix Mitterer’s “Deadly Sins”. This research paved a way which we share with the theatrical company “New Life” and together we’re trying to find the light at the end of this life tunnel we all have to go through.

Mario Kovač

Transformation of raid into ?????

“I watch this damned yard of ours”, that steep point of view. Sometimes it seems as if there is some kind of veil, some kind of cage between us and Them, between our lives and the rest of the world, so I struggle and send words through these imaginary bars, then I try and jump with these replicas in the crowd, offering us and serving us as the dessert for soul. I don’t ask for anything in return but the feeling that they were in a real theatre and that they enjoyed the illusion just as they enjoy nice, peaceful end of the beautiful day which made them happy for life or at least for a month.

We don’t speak in replicas, we don’t read scripts. This is how we live. Using self-irony and self-suggestion we uniquely sign our play and remain completely true and consistent with the director’s concept.

“Good thing I’m in my plain clothes”, or in a play, “so no one knows who or what I am”, while I turn from friar to demented dungeon keeper, worshiping and spitting, inviting to prayer and extorting confessions from the innocent. It all reminds me of the way we exist today, the existence which most of us spend in their own damned yards in which we talk about trivial things and stay silent about the facts that put us into boxes in which we passively count days and theatrically repeat replicas.              

Vojin Perić

Premier: October 2016

Authors and actors

  • Director: Mario Kovač
  • Dramaturge:: Sibila Petlevski
  • Stage Design: Iva Matija Bitanga i Leo Vukelić
  • Costume Design: Hana Letica
  • Vocal coach: : Davorka Horvat
  • Lighting designe: Nenad Lalović
  • Costumes made by: Tamara Šantek Zlatar
  • Graphic design: kunazlatica
  • Photographer: Jasenko Rasol


  • Igor Kučević - ĆAMIL (JEM-SULTAN), SOFTA
  • Nikša Marinović - HAIM
  • Milenko Zeko - ZAIM, SAILOR, SKINNY (a guard)
  • Marijo Glibo - ATHLET (ALIJA DJERZELEZ), CHUNKY (a clerk)
  • Anita Matković - MELEĆHANA, JEKATERINA
  • Ružica Drenski - AMRA 
  • Ružica Domić-Lalović - ZEMKA
  • Dajana Biondić - VEHBIJA

  • Stage manager: Tea Bešić
  • Technical support: Branko Ostojić, David Čavara, Nenad Lalović