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The Trial or The Woeful Story of Joseph K. 15+

Partially based on motifs from the novel The Trial by Franz Kafka / 60'

In this timeless composition of music and puppets, the audience find themselves in the role of Josef K. The play mercilessly places the audience in hopeless situations, acquaints them with the inner workings of a societal machine and also with the intimate world of some of the people nearest and dearest to Joseph K. The audience is placed in the centre of happenings, where they must responsibly submit themselves to the tender mercy of the Trial. Different theatrical techniques are lined up both among the audience and around them: the black humour of hand puppets, the poetry of object-related theatre, and cabaret improvisation. Two actors, musicians and puppeteers run the machine system. Gentle puppet scenes alternate with strong rhythmic effects that occasionally erupt into a concert.

T structure of the system, situation of the individual, values and valuation, fate, hopelessness, humour; staging concept, literary source material, stage equipment, innovative execution


  • 2013 Award for best director, awarded to Matija Solce, Pierrot international festival, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
  • 2013 Grand Prix – award for the best overall performance, Biennial of Puppetry Artists of Slovenia, Maribor

From The Freaky Kafka, a drama-puppetry performance review by Peter Rak, Delo, 5th May 2012:
"/.../Instead of a mystical, sluggish and dark atmosphere, the story unfolds at an astounding pace: the fervor of the plot is intensified through a lightning-quick change of sequences; scene cuts are escalated to no end; the intimacy of the plot becomes hard to follow, even though its onsets and fragments resurface again and again. These (images, Ed.) are staged in such a dynamic fashion that the protagonists, Miha Bezeljak and Miha Arh, must be congratulated not just for memorizing and precisely synchronizing all the verbal, physical and visual acrobatics, but also for their physical endurance. Any and all additional explanations seem unnecessary; the director and the actors have taken the thought by the priest from Kafka's Trial literally – the right understanding of any matter and a misunderstanding of the same matter do not wholly exclude each other. An outstanding performance./.../"

From Dreary, But Not Really, a puppetry essay by Polona Balantič, Pogledi, 23rd May 2012:
"/.../Solce's Trial unfolds mainly as an existential drama of the Absurd, and its message seems as if circling around the quote from the chapter Before the Law. In addition to the author, both actors must be commended for the outstanding performance as well. In fact it seems almost unbelievable how expertly Arh and Bezeljak execute the performance; how many roles, genres and moods the pair pass through in less than an hour, and how many interpretations they indicate. Simply indicate, and nothing more. Thus the performance opens up a whole horizon on which simultaneously starts and ends the world of Franz Kafka./.../"



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The Trial or the Woeful Story of Josef K.  <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>
The Trial or the Woeful Story of Josef K.  <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>
The Trial or the Woeful Story of Josef K.  <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>
The Trial or the Woeful Story of Josef K.  <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah </em>
The Trial or the Woeful Story of Josef K.  <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>
The Trial or the Woeful Story of Josef K.  <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>
The Trial or the Woeful Story of Josef K.  <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>
The Trial or the Woeful Story of Josef K.  <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>

Crew and cast

Režiser Matija Solce

Actors Miha Bezeljak in Miha Arh, guest

Dramaturge Jelena Sitar Cvetko

Avtor glasbe Matija Solce

Art direction Primož Mihevc in Matija Solce

Lighting design  Matija Solce in Miljenko Knezoci 

Puppet and set design Primož Mihevc 

Costume construction Maja Švagelj 

Costume and wardrobe Svetlana Maloić 

Premiere — 28. April 2012

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