Dragoslav Nenadić

Under the Millstone

Directed by Egon Savin

Adaptation: Egon Savin, Dramaturge: Miloš Krečković, Set Designer: Vesna Popović, Costume Designer: Bojana Nikitović, Stefan Savković, Music choice: Egon Savin, Speech: Ljiljana Mrkić Popović,

The economic crises of 21st century have awakened people’s interest in the first play ever written by a young and nearly forgotten playwright Dragoslav Nenadić, one he wrote at the beginning of 20th century. According to the critics, Under the Millstone talks about the world of far flung suburbia, pointless lives in dank and filthy shacks and overgrown gardens, forgotten people with their dysfunctional families prepared to do the worst – murder, theft, prostitution, soliciting…

Nenadić’s colourful characters from Belgrade, albeit drowning in quicksand of life, believe that a better life is still possible: be it by running away (anyway away from there, another town, America…), or through belief that there is a land somewhere far away where people are happy. These dispossessed characters, estranged and often animalistic, at critical moments – under the millstone – have only three options before them…

Dragoslav Nenadić (1888-1940) studied Economy in Paris and spent most of his life working at the Ministry of Finance. He belonged to that generation of Serbian playwrights who modernized theatre life in Serbia where people such as Simo Matavulj, Branislav Nušić, Vojislav Jovanović Marambo, Milivoj Predić, Svetozar Ćorović and Milutin Bojića also belonged.

Besides writing short stories and articles for Beogradske NovinameŠtampa and The Politika, Nenadić wrote several plays such as The Lucky Ones (Srećkovići), Outside of Life (Izvan života), Sailboats without Sails (Jedrilice bez jedrila), A Cold Hearth (Ugašeno ognjište).

The Yugoslav Drama Theatre production of Under the Millstone is the latest installment in YDT’s efforts to bring back to life forgotten plays. Plays in this category, already on the repertoire are It Had to Be So, The Terrace, Himmelcommando…

Premiere: 16 October 2016

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1 hr 35 min, no intermission