(“Ibsen’s Women“ – author and acting interpretation, Mirel Knez; director, Nick Upper; performed at SkupiFestival 2019)
The monodrama “Ibsen’s Women” skillfully intertwines three female anthological characters and their fates that speak of female emancipation, of women’s right to choose when faced with impossible situations. It is especially important to note that these three women in Ibsen’s plays violate established social norms by their actions. Hence scandalizing the public at the time of their occurrence. Hundreds of years later through this monodrama, the actress and playwright Mirel Knez makes, so to speak, a sophisticated “walk through” of Ibsen’s plays and in a confessional form shows that the struggle for female emancipation is not over. The director Nick Upper wholeheartedly helps the actress shape this monodrama. But he does so with a very discreet intervention of separating the three scenes and transitions from one character to another (this is achieved by playing between the curtain of white, then in front of him and finally – without him), as well as with the light and finally the music (Christian Widner) that completes the play.
Mirel Knez manifests particular subtlety in shaping the three characters, Elida, Nora and Heda. It can, in fact, be followed as one single character in three different situations. Knez, however, does not allow herself to be seduced by the tragic fates of the women mentioned, but weaving the stage story without pathetics is completely sober and rational. With her appearance, beautiful diction and the choice of the appropriate tempo and rhythm (along with the director, Upper), she creates a colorful character that captivates and admires. The play is once dominated by the desire (Elida), another time of betrayal by her husband, no matter what the reasons (Nora), and finally here is the tragic misinterpretation and misunderstanding in the world of men, when (Heda) cries “in pain” and “rage ”and will shoot herself in the temple. Like an echo of ancient Medea. She will commit suicide and by that also bringing to death the child in the womb. End. She falls on the stage that means life, but this time – death!
The play “Ibsen’s Women” is a fine example of the lyrical intonation and poetic monodrama genre, with a lot of tenderness and compassion for the heroines in the creation of the actress, Mirel Knez.