2023/2024 — Season 68
Simona Semenič

no title yet

Directed by: Tomi Janežič
The creative process was inspired by the Don Juan myth
Additional text devised by the ensemble
Première: 6. 10. 2018
  • Dramaturgy: Tomi Janežič
  • Set design: Branko Hojnik
  • Music selection: ustvarjalci predstave
  • Costume design: Marina Sremac
  • Sound design: Silvo Zupančič
  • Lighting design: David Cvelbar, Tomi Janežič
  • Assistants director: Mirjana Medojević, Daniel Day Škufca
  • Set designer assistant: Aleksander Vujović
  • Video: Dušan Ojdanič
  • Make-up artist: Nathalie Horvat
  • Speech advisor: Mateja Dermelj
  • Stage manager: Gašper Tesner

Don Juan is one of those literary figures that have gone through most adaptation. For the entire last season, Tomi Janežič and his team also took him as a reference point for their research and laboratory approach. Parallel to that, Simona Semenič was writing a new text, titled as no title yet. Semenič approached Don Juan, this time carrying the quintessential Slovenian name Janez, from the angle of his “seducees” and through the consequences of his acts – which all blend into a whole in a single moment, in a single heartbeat. A moment needed that a body that slips from the bed hits the ground. The text has merged superbly with the material created at the rehearsals, and Janežič mixed it subtly into a rich, layered whole which adds another view to the countless versions of Don Juan and donjuanism, and particularly speaks of our joys, hopes, fears and distress. Here and now. 

In the media

The most profound, intense and powerful performance I saw at the festival this year was no title yet, directed by Tomi Janežič based on a text by Simona Semenič (Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, Slovenia). An impressive ten-hour show, held in all the spaces from the Great Hall to the Studio and the access stairs, etc., with rich scenography (practical modularity, car, etc. – Branko Hojnik) but especially with, so to say, a total acting interpretation, encompassing everyting from physical endurance, bodily exposure, intensity of the acting, precision of the interactions, and perfect intonation to the integration into the organic flow of the narrative and internal logic of the dramatic sequences. [...] This overwhelming theatrical approach [...], investigates fragments of the lives of the heroes of the story and from our lives, of those „nearby“, with amazing originality, fantasy and ingenious development. Erotic games, conflictual relationships, existence mechanized by the work routine, bursts of empathy and care, parodic moments, extra-textual interventions by the director, improvisation, fine interactions with the audience – all of this made no title yet a memorable experience, an exercise in introspection, despite the extraverted and playful atmosphere of the performance.

The show no title yet is first on my list [of shows at the TESZT festival, which made an immense impression on me]. Something I haven’t seen before, one of my most special theatrical experiences. Suffice it to say that it lasts for ten hours, with several breaks, so it stretched to eleven hours in Timisoara. The plot revolved around the story of Don Juan, in an unusual way. […] In this history, the famous seducer from the literary world is called Janez. In the play, the story develops along several lines, which eventually come together. A moment, a heartbeat. That’s all it takes for a body to slip out of bed to hit the ground. Although they tell the story of a famous man, in many cases the story of women unfolds before our eyes. After eleven hours, we, the spectators and the actors as well, got into something quite euphoric, becoming friends who spent an entire day together. Time has gone by, only the here and now existed. Life. Everyone is seductive and seduced. A huge, enormous theatrical moment. Thanks!

This is called inaugural theatre. The hearts of the spectators beat in unison with those of the creators, the nervous systems vibrate as one. During the performance, the director and the actors will perform among the audience. During the breaks we smile at each other, after the show we are hugged by spectators and actors. Tomi Janežič aims to do no less than to experience the wonders of theatre with us, and he succeeds. When the light fills the space at the end, the symphonic music is played and the gazes cling to each other in that glittering light. It could be a moment or an hour, I don't know. Expanded, time is running out. I felt cleansed, I felt that this brightness protects me from all evil. After the applause, we looked at each other with an actor and hugged with complete naturalness. In the performance, humor and drama alternated [...]. Because of the Don Juan theme, women and men 'describe' their relationships, friendships, love, sexuality without love, aggression, domestic and extra-domestic violence. The scene of violence, which ends in murder, was shocking [...], and everyone remembered the horrible murder of the girl from Cluj-Napoca. Yes, such is the real, theatre: it cuts and laughs, it forces you to think, it evokes memories. [...] This was a cathartic experience; I would watch the performance over and over again anytime.

no title yet demonstrates the extraordinary power of theatre today. It is an intense, ten hours long production which, because of the uniqueness of all the theatre elements and the profound concentration, persistently weaves the connection between the actors and the spectators and is seductive not only because it reveals itself, but also because it shows us how it reveals itself. The performance thus turns out to be a theatre miracle, an experience in the full meaning of the word, not created as a trompe l’oeil, but quite the opposite, as a deep insight into an individual and the society.

no title yet is a unique theatre experience which in its pulsating body boldly and intensely not only unites a poignant and collectively united acting organism, but also claims an adequate spectator's input. It shapes a hopeful community exempt of everyday schedule and united in a common devotion of the day to a theatre fantasy. [… W]ith its rhythmically perfect and acting-wise convincing union of the chaos and order, repetitiveness and uniqueness, love and pain, depth that in collision with the reality brutally flattens, it effectively depicts the fleeting beauty that is the micro and macro cosmos of the human experience. But above all, it creates a shelter in which all the anticipating, individualised solitudes are bound together by the completion of the wait, albeit miraculously fictitious, we experience together.

( Šeligo Award at the Week of Slovenian Drama, the explanation of the jury's decision, April 8, 2019)

The director connects the text to the material created during the rehearsals, but leaves the structural division noticeable – he intertwines the text with personal narratives. […] Through the spatial revealing of the textual layers, Janežič reinforces numerous temporalities to which actors’ confessions add content accessibility (sexual experience, power abuse, consequences of Don Juan’s/Janez’s machismo). The entire cast, to mention only Anja Novak, Stane Tomažin, Nataša Keser, Blaž Šef, Boris Kos, with their individually touching, performatively responsible acting loyal to the collective, build an emotional, painful, humorous and aesthetically perfected theatre organism; Janežič himself enters into the play, he paces and sharpens it. As it doesn’t submit to a rigid structure, the event will next time be revived differently, but that won’t diminish its vitality. Free from the fixation of meaning afforded by the temporal openness (and a decision to spend a day in theatre), it is through its duration that no title yet tests a different way of imagination and seeing – a different sensitivity, which in the emergence of the community, in itself, in the day, in the moment, in all these temporalities and identities, may recognise a miracle.

Janežič’s psychodrama approach in directing and dramaturgy and Semenič’s sharp, multi-layered writing confront us with a unique scattering of everything theatrical. What we have in front of us is a vivisection of a living stage organism that pulses, in its enduring ephemerality, all the way to the capillaries. We take the time in many ways, the perception of the moment is astounding. Confessions, fantasies, traumas inhabit the almost empty scene. The entire human material deconstructs itself in front of us in all its glory and misery.  It tackles the thematising of the cliché Donjuanism in all its renditions through the borderline situations of abuse, rape, death, attitude to the transcendent, life defeats, disillusions. […] The text is continually interspersed by stories of the actors that oscillate between the intimate and the public, which we follow like we were at a table read. For the felling of a workshop or a lab to be complete, we have the director with a laptop, who intervenes every once in a while, and emphasises the scenes. We have actors with tablets from which they read the text, or phones, even paper. The impression of a process in progress, the incompleteness is constantly present – from the beginning till the end. […] A dedicated ensemble, to which nothing human is alien […] literally left their souls onstage. We’ve never seen them from this close and this real, as if we were in an intimate meeting with them, almost. […] no title yet is the right title for the indeterminateness, openness of theatre’s ephemerality. A daring, excellent programming gesture of the mostly very different, socially engaged Mladinsko Theatre.

The text approaches the topics of stereotypical and indisputable Donjuanesque machismo from the aspect of consequences, such as rapes, rejections, the question whether to live or die, draining of life in disappointment, a car crash, feelings of a loser, shattered dreams … All this is, in Semenič’s and Janežič’s theatre, with an excellent ensemble, beautiful, magnificent and magical, elevated to the level of a moment caught, a moment which is transient. All the elements of the performance are imbued with the sense of transiency; they also lead the spectators into it and literally fill them with fresh air.

Guest performances

  • Euroregional Theatre Festival - TESZT, Timisoara, Romania, 29 May 2022
  • Maribor Theatre Festival, Maribor, Slovenia, 20 October 2019
  • MOT, Skopje, Macedonia, 14 September 2019
  • Week of Slovenian Drama, Kranj, Slovenia, 7 April 2019 (performed in Ljubljana)

  • Prešeren Fund Award to Tomi Janežič for the projects realised in the last three years, especially for performances no title yet and Seven Questions About Happiness (2021)
  • Marko Slodnjak Award of The Slovenian Association of Dramatic Artists to Tomi Janežič for directing and dramaturgy (2020)
  • Borštnik Grand Prix for the Best Production (2019)
  • Borštnik award for directing to Tomi Janežič (2019)
  • Borštnik awards for acting to Matej Recer and Stane Tomazin (2019)
  • Borštnik award for young actress to Anja Novak (2019)
  • Šeligo Award for best production at the 49th Week of Slovenian Drama (2019)
  • Audience Award at the 49th Week of Slovenian Drama (2019)
Press downloads

Uroš Kaurin, Žarko Prinčič, Tjaša Črnigoj, Tin Grabnar, Maruša Kink, Katja Legin, Simona Semenič, Kristina Lelovac, Peter Sarjanović, Radio Trst A, Irena Preda, Matjaž Jankovič, Matjaž Bric, mag. Lucija Mak Uhan, Branislava Djurica, GET inženiring, d. o. o.