SNG Nova Gorica – Rowan, strudel, dance and more, 20. 04. at 20:00


by Simona Semenič

Duration: 120min

Language: Slovenian


It is the 15th of August 1963 and the villagers in the Vipava Valley are getting ready for two events scheduled for the very same time – a religious service honouring the Feast of the Assumption with the Most Reverend Bishop and the celebration of the border guards of the Yugoslav National Army with the comrade Secretary of the Central Committee. They have some tough decisions to make: will they be loyal sheep or obedient comrades? At first glance, rowan, strudel, dance and more is a play about a historical period and the fundamental ideological schism between the Slovenes. But the more the issues untangle, the more they become a portrait of the contemporary Slovenian society in which pragmatic benefits easily replace ideological beliefs. The text keeps shifting between times and settings, and the political dilemma is spiced up with scenes of direct sexuality in which everyone selflessly licks, jerks off, penetrates, caresses, fondles, and rides whomever, whenever, and however. This textual bravura plays, on the one hand, with the comedy genre by questioning the borders of the comical and, on the other hand, with the bourgeois notion of theatre, which is willing to accept provocation but only up to a certain point.
We prepared the production in collaboration with the Mladinsko Theatre and thus intertwined two strong theatre traditions and poetics, just like two ideologies intertwine in the rowan. It is directed by Jure Novak, whose work always reveals interest in burning societal issues, who is no stranger to sexuality on stage, and who has already tackled Simona Semenič’s texts as a director. This time, he blended his experience and interests into a juicy whole that takes aim at “plastic” consumerist beauty ideals, sharply analyses the situation in the society and at the same time brims with vitality.

Production team

  • Director – Jure Novak
  • Dramaturg – Marko Bratuš
  • Author of Language Adaptation – Srečko Fišer
  • Language Consultants – Srečko Fišer, Anja Pišot
  • Set Designer – Urša Vidic
  • Costume Designer – Dajana Ljubičić
  • Composer – Uroš Buh
  • Choreographer – Branko Potočan
  • Light Designer – Andrej Hajdinjak
  • Make-up and Hair-style Designer – Muhair
  • Assistant to Dramaturg – Alja Lobnik
  • Assistant to Set Designer – Mojca Madon
  • Assistant to Costume Designer – Monika Colja


  • Marjuta Slamič – bogdana, a parish house housekeeper, 42 years
  • Patrizia Jurinčič Finžgar / Arna Hadžialjević – višnja, a teacher, 33 years
  • Helena Peršuh – estera, a principal, the county secretary of the communist party, 50 years
  • Damjana Černe – genovefa, a publican, 66 years
  • Ana Facchini – angela, genovefa’s daughter, 46 years
  • Draga Potočnjak – slavka, a retired principal, 60 years
  • Nataša Keser k. g. – helena, a nun on a bike, 26 years
  • Iztok Mlakar – karlo, estera’s husband, the president of the local community and the president of the workers’ council in the creamery, 52 years
  • Andrej Zalesjak – rajko, slavka’s son, 33 years
  • Blaž Šef – jože, a parish priest, 35 years
  • Matej Recer – viljem, a sexton, 42 years
  • Primož Bezjak – ciril, a postman, 45 years
  • Željko Hrs – herman, a teacher, 54 years
  • Blaž Valič – tone, a village carouser, 57 years

About the Slovene national theatre Nova Gorica (SNG)

The Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica is the successor of the Primorsko Drama Theatre, which was founded in 1969. Between 1972 and 1991, the theatre organised the Gorica Meeting of Small Stages festival (later the Alpe Adria Theatre Meeting), which importantly influenced the development of the theatre and its affirmation in Slovenia and internationally.
In 1994, a new theatre building with modern technical equipment and a hall seating 371 was constructed. A small stage hall with 107 seats was added in 2011.
In 2004, the theatre was declared an institution of national importance, fully financed by the state, and changed its name to Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica (Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica).
The position of Nova Gorica, a town on the juncture of the Slavic and the Romance cultures, has significantly influenced the repertoire and artistic orientation of the theatre. The repertoire consists of contemporary and classic plays; it is marked by the local, Mediterranean colour, and by openness to new research and experimentation. The high artistic level of production has been proven by a number of awards and participation at Slovenian and international festivals and tours abroad. In 2001, the theatre became a member of the European Theatre Convention (ETC).