“The production of Igor Vuk Torbica boasts more awards than plays” is the opening statement of an interview that can’t escape the eye.
The few plays he staged have already left a strong mark on the contemporary theatre. It is hard, however, to interpret someone’s biography from the little random information one gets, let alone predict where he will go with the next project or what direction his artistic road will take. What directing paradigm can one discern from an opus that has only just begun? What style, what taste does it foretell? Who can tell where this young, regionally acclaimed director will go from Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus staged for the Zagreb Youth Theatre? Or whether his next project will be a success or a failure? And the only measure of success in theatre is the number of viewers, awards, performances and tours, including regional and international festivals.
Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus staged for the Zagreb Youth Theatre is Igor’s interpretation of what is often referred to as the “bloodiest” of The Bard’s tragedies, but also the most (inter)literary one, because “there is nothing in this tragedy that Shakespeare has not borrowed from somewhere else”, to use the words of a Croatian expert in Shakespeare Tomislav Brlek.
In an interview he gave for Novi list before the Misanthrope premiere, Igor Vuk Torbica said that he “prefers the challenge of the classical pieces. They are like rebuses and logic games that challenge you to revisit the old, dust-covered issues. Classical pieces sharpen your senses and challenge your potential of insight”.
Now, is there a greater rebus to be dusted off from ages past, is there an archaeological artefact more challenging to dig out as a contemporary piece and “patch it into something new” than one of the least performed Shakespeare’s tragedies – Titus Andronicus?