Tuesday, 6 April 2021
Young playwright award 2021: Nina Kuclar Stiković
Nina Kuclar Stiković: Tomorrow Seemed Different in My Dreams
A small middle-class household in a not-so-small country house. The mother, a lawyer, is a divorcée who has sent her husband into the world (she keeps a lover on the other side of a yearning telephone line) and her mother-in-law (the legal owner of the house) into a retirement home because "she can’t look after everything herself". Her youngest son is studying for his secondary school finals and trying to solve Ivan Cankar’s question what’s behind the good of our nation while also preparing for his entrance exam to the faculty of architecture. His older brother and sister no longer live at home.
While the mother and the son tackle the social restrictions brought on by the epidemic (the mother by being hysterical, the son by drinking: he misses grandma, who was, so it seems, his source of sobriety), the absent family members begin to discover the advantages of country living. From scene to scene, the house is fuller of their erstwhile inhabitants, their unfulfilled ambitions, traumas, fancies, reproaches and, in short, everything that humans carry as baggage around the world. There is a lot of comedy, it seems, although the background is bitter. Only grandma, the one most sorely missed from the house, cannot return to her own home, leaving, in the end, to another, eternal one. And her grandson finds out that the world may be standing on the young, but the young stand on the old. Although the experience brings some maturity to the story’s protagonists, who knows whether it will last.
Tomorrow Seemed Different in My Dreams is a family drama written in the tested realistic manner, even documentarist on the outside: almost a journal of "the time in which we lived between the walls", from 13 March 2020 at 13.43 to 7 May 2020 at 22.49, as the didascaliae state. Although a drama, it is not without significant comical elements from which it benefits greatly: in the key of comedy, a formulaic solution here and there goes down more easily and does not endanger the fundamental strength of the text – that it head-on attacks the omnipresent theme of the moment, which, besides its acuteness, drags along so much civilisational baggage. The attack is direct, with the young and fresh merciless optimism and some naïveté, without which such optimism is impossible.