With a lot of love and no frills at all, diligent pen of Ivan Kovačić embalmed from oblivion Split from the early 20th century at some thousand pages. In a series of prose sketches it left us an authentic witness of the era and the people who lived in a completely different reality from ours. Not because they were poor, uneducated and technologically not so developed as we are today, but because they lived reality with principles.
Stage adaptation of this prose abundant with motives on "Juda’s Wasteland" - as Tonči Petrasov Marović has named the mythical place of Sustipan, the cemetery where the old City of Split had been buried actually and metaphorically– in a series of naturalistic vignettes revives this reality as a distant echo of yesteryear childhood, as painful memories and melancholy beauty. Through the ritual "laughing and tears" of the participants, who have interwoven their souls into the air, soil, rock and the sea of our City, we inevitably ask ourselves what are the lines along which we live today?
Laughter and Tears of the Old Split is an opportunity for us to pause, remember and move forward with the awareness that the principles of these men were not mere vanity, but a way of survival and nurturing of cultural and urban identity, whose devastation we have been witnessing today.
Golovko very deliberately deals with a specific Mediterranean time-space continuum from very different angles, posing a whole series of civilization important issues. Sometimes he does it from a panoramic humorous distance as in Boccaccio's The Decameron (in 2006, 52nd Split Summer Festival) or in De Filippo’s The Great Magic (Croatian National Theatre Split, 2008), but more often, looking at yesterday's local reality rich in colours and revived characters and themes by Marko Uvodić (in 2005, City Youth Theatre Split, in 2007, 53rd Split Summer Festival), or, as now, at the unjustly neglected Ivko Kovačić.
Both the old Split and his subtle chronicler Ivan Kovačić have been neglected with incomprehensible lightness, even erased from our memory. That is why Laughter and Tears of the Old Split, directed by Goran Golovko, will force us to pause and think about the kind of survival we are pursuing fleeing from our own yesteryear.
Ticket price: 100 kn