Category Drama 2023



Autor: Hrvatski radio

Prix Marulić 2023

Prix Marulić 2023

Foto: HRT / HRT

Preselected programs in Drama category

1. Austria/ORF
What can you see? The night!

Original title: Was siehst du? Die Nacht!

Author: Ludwig Fels

Producer: Kurt Reissnegger

Director/Sound engineer: Stefan Weber

Other key staff: Naïma von Bargen, Markus Meyer, Klaus Höring, Katrin Thurm

Language: German

Length: 50:17 min

The poet Ludwig Fels wrote a story that happened, but no one could tell about it anymore. Spring 1944: little Mirka and her father in the cattle wagon of a deportation train on the way from the Lódz ghetto to Auschwitz. Mirka full of life, but with doubts because the Nazi dog bit her doll while boarding. The father, drowned in despair, tries to reassure. Children's fantasy against fainting white lies of the adored dad. Hastily concocted fairy tales as a replica to unanswerable questions. Some remaining hours, two hearts in commanded final lifetime, one soul. The radio drama director Stefan Weber writes to the author Ludwig Fels after reading the manuscript: "Every word, every sentence, every sequence hopelessly chiseled into 'the ruin of memory'. Your fabric of childhood worlds, hopes, despair, resignation, love, eternità, woven in the wagon of the wheelwork of a 'drunken machine man in uniform' condenses breathtakingly to the last word. Your writing gives so much strength and comfort because you give certainty that Mirka will 'live to the age of one thousand years', that she and her father will be able to reach out to us." The author and the director will meet in the spring of 2020 and agree on the concept for the production. Due to the pandemic, the production of the radio drama is postponed. On January 11, 2021, Ludwig Fels died unexpectedly in Vienna in the midst of preparations.

2. Croatia/HRT
Orlando, a Monologue, a Stain

Original title: Orlando, monolog, mrlja

Author: Goran Ferčec

Producer: Katja Šimunić

Director:Dario Harjaček

Sound Designer: Srđan Nogić

Other key personnel: Mateo Videk, Jelena Miholjević, Maro Market (composer)

Length: 35:28

This Orlando of ours probably comes from a Renaissance stain (or perhaps even from a more distant period), but surely must he/she be a sibling of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. And he, she, our Orlando is cogitative, and sentient, and estranged, and gender fluid. His, her, their monologue is dual, but not at all binary, this monologue is like a conceptual pas de deux, a contemporary vertigo for two, or, more precisely a labyrinthine motion around the main topic of this Orlando of ours which is – the time. A sadistic time that always manages to pass off chaos as a condition for progress.

3. Czech Republic/Czech Radio 
The Main Hearing

Original title: Hlavní přelíčení

Author(s): Lenka Veverková, Karel Poláček (author of the original literary novel)

Producer(s): Klára Novotná

Director: Vít Vencl

Sound engineer: Ladislav Reich, Jan Trojan

Other key staff: Václav Neužil, Magdaléna Borová, Klára Cibulková, Marek Němec, Hanuš Bor and others

Language: Czech

Length: 50:42

THE MAIN HEARING A drama from Prague’s periphery about false impressions and a murder Karel Poláček (1882-1945) was a significant Czech writer, journalist and screenwriter. Because of his Jewish background and family ties, he was transported to a concentration camp in 1943. He never returned and did not live to see the end of the war. His novel The Main Hearing (1932) was inspired by an actual trial. The defendant is railway worker Josef Maršík, a loudmouth whose delusive ideas of a better life lead him to where he never wanted to be. Eager to show his independence, he procures money in the most unfortunate way: he lures it from a naive maid, Alžběta, under the promise of marriage. He entangles himself and her in a web of lies that gradually lead to crime. Poláček brilliantly portrays the man trapped in illusions and convinced of his own innocence to the end. He captures Maršík’s desperate steps towards an inevitable catastrophe, as well as the rapid stream of consciousness in which the tragicomic hero denies any wrongdoing ever more fervently. Lenka Veverková, the author of the radio adaptation, placed Maršík at the centre of the crime story, but she has also let him enter into a dialogue with his own desires, his nagging conscience and his false defence. Working with the concept of an inner voice, director Vít Vencl and actor Václav Neužil have created a character whose naivety and small-mindedness captivate our attention despite being morally indefensible.

4. Germany/SWR
Tender Buttons - Intertwined

Original title: Tender Buttons - Verknüpft

Authors: Catherine Milliken / Dietmar Wiesner

Producer: Südwest Rundfunk - Manfred Hess

Director: Manfred Hess

Sound engineers: Udo Wüstendörfer/ Lutz Glandien/ Jean Szymczak

Other key staff: Barbara Köhler

Language: English

Length: 51:15

In their radio composition, Milliken/Wiesner transform contemporary music through poetry into an enthralling sound experience, musically highlighting and deepening the poetic intention. Where words must remain silent, music speaks – where the music remains silent, the word resounds. Gertrude Stein's multilayered (including the erotic) volume of poetry „Tender Buttons“ is connected to poems by William Carlos Williams and e. e. cummings. The piece ponders on the complexity of objects and procedures that seemingly give structure to our everyday lives: water, an apple, having breakfast together, etc. The montage „deconstructs“/intertwines the musical and textual material to uncover its magic beyond mere function. The participation of renowned artists, among others Brett Dean, Wu Wei and William Barton, and the use of non-European instruments make the radio play tell us about the diversity of discourses on the 'simple things in life'.

5. Germany/Deutschlandfunk Kultur 
Die Polizey ("The police")

Original title: Die Polizey

Author: Björn SC Deigner

Producer: Barbara Gerland

Director: Luise Voigt

Sound engineer: Jean Szymczak

Other key staff: Friederike Bernhardt (composition)

Language: german

Length: 55:46 min

With the French Revolution behind him, Friedrich Schiller draws Paris around 1800 as a city with two faces. Here the forerunner of the modern police force is invented on behalf of the authorities, recruited from shady characters. Already at the birth of the law enforcement officers, in his drama fragment 'Die Polizey', Schiller was looking clairvoyantly for the interdependence of criminal events and police work. "The police must often permit evil, nay encourage it, and sometimes exercise it, in order to do good or to remove the greater evil." With all hope in the institution, one can already sense the gray area in which the police operate. Björn SC Deigner continues Schiller's theme and lets his gaze wander through the centuries. Schiller's chorus of the police becomes the starting point and place for a questioning of (German) history and the present. In various scenes, Deigner draws a critical portrait of police work using historical and current sources: the police as guardians of order, as a brutal state apparatus, as an association penetrated by spies, and as an institution that is partially infiltrated by right-wing extremists.

6. Ireland/New Normal Culture & RTÉ Drama On One
Marconi & Me

Author: Zoë Comyns

Producers: Zoë Comyns (New Normal Culture) & Kevin Brew (RTÉ)

Directors: Zoë Comyns, Kevin Brew

Sound engineers: Damian Chennells, Brendan Rehill, Brendan Jenkinson

Other key staff: Zoë Comyns and José Miguel Jiménez (Performers), Kevin Reynolds (Series Producer, RTÉ Drama On One)

Language: English

Length: 44:07

A podcast producer finds a set of code books. They are the Marconi International Code books (1919). They contain 500 pages of 5-letter codes and their translations. The main character starts to read the codes obsessively and twist them into her own life story. In themselves the codes form extraordinarily poetic lists. The innovative drama charts a crumbling relationship from its origins, via a history of sound, telegraphy and communication, Marconi's telegraphic work in Ireland and a flight into family madness.

7. Poland/Polskie Radio Białystok
Messiah. Bruno Schulz

Radio play based on the drama by Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk

Adaptation and direction - Jerzy Machowski

Audio production - Zdzisław Wasilewski

Cooperation - Mariusz Woroniewski

Music - Lena Michajłów

Production - PAPAHEMA Theater

The radio play "Messiah. Bruno Schulz" is an adaptation of Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk's drama of the same title. The text concerns the person of Bruno Schulz, an outstanding Polish writer, and his legendary lost novel "Messiah." Schulz was born and lived in Drohobych. During World War II he found himself in the local ghetto. There he worked under orders from Gestapo commander Felix Landau. In 1942, he was shot by another Gestapo officer, Karl Gunther, and buried in a mass grave, which has not been identified to this day. All of his manuscripts from the occupation were lost, including his novel "Messiah," about which the only thing we know is the fact that the artist was working on it. After the war, Drohobych was located in the Soviet Union, and today lies in western Ukraine. For decades after Schulz's death, the search for the lost manuscript was impossible. Our radio play tells the story of the hardships and hopelessness of this search.

8. Serbia/RTS/Radio Belgrade
The Path of Alija Đerzelez

Original title: Put Alije Đerzeleza

Author(s): Ivo Andrić

Producer(s): Vesna Perić

Director: Melina Pota Koljević

Sound engineer: Milan Filipović

Other key staff: Vesna Perić (dramatisation); Dragan Mitrić (music editor); Nataša Šuljagić (proofreader)

Language: Serbian

Length: 29:49

Alija Đerzelez was remembered in folklore as a famous warrior. Andrić approaches this character from an intimate, private perspective from which he sees him as a man who is very lonely in his glory, among all the people who admire him as a warrior. These ordinary men will start mocking him as soon as that warrior shows the private, intimate side of his personality. They are mocking him because he revealed to them his weakness, his absolute vulnerability of a lonely man. They can finally enjoy feeling themselves as superior to this warrior on that, intimate, private field. Andrić is talking about that side of this character, since the writer knows that every warrior must reveal his weakness as soon as he finds himself in a position of an ordinary man. Andrić speaks about this warrior’s futile search for love, for a woman whose beauty will be worthy of his fame, according to his own understandings. In that non-warrior world, Đerzelez does not manage to find his place. The rules of that world are unknown and foreign to him, and his journey towards the unattainable goal of victory over his own loneliness must continue. It is the curse and fate of warriors.

9. Slovenia/RTV Slovenija
Going home

Original title: Pot domov

Author(s): Miha Mazzini (author) adapted by Ana Lorger

Producer(s): Radio Slovenija

Director: Špela Kravogel

Sound engineer: Nejc Zupančič

Other key staff: actors: Boris Cavazza,Sebastian Cavazza,Jernej Gašperin,Matej Puc,Gregor Čušin,Maša Derganc, Maja Končar,Uroš Smolej,Saš

Language: Slovene

Length: 26:19

The author refers to his story (written as a play) as ‘A Tragedy of Confusions’. He was inspired and intrigued by the true story of 84-year-old Alois Dvorzac, a dementia sufferer, who – after a series of failed bureaucratic attempts – died handcuffed at the airport. He was on his way home to Slovenia, to his daughter, but could not remember anything. The story was selected to represent the United Kingdom at the Creative Europe Playwriting Award for POP Drama and was runner-up among 347 candidates. The ageing population, the growing number of dementia sufferers, and the cold, inhuman bureaucracy can cause agonising distress and generate deep, bitter and complex questions about humanity. In the play, Alois keeps returning to his childhood and youth, and to the time he visited Milan with his daughter and saw Giuseppe Perego's famous Madonnina statue (1774 ). The song ‘O mia bella, Madonnina’ (or Madunina in the Lombard dialect) was written in 1935 by Giovanni d’Anzi, a singer and pianist in the Pavillon doré. At that time, crowds of workers from the Italian south flocked to the north, bringing Neapolitan melodies with them. D’Anzi added a bit of irony to the song and it became the symbol of the city of Milan. Normally, dementia patients gradually lose touch with reality and their minds retreat to the earliest stages of their lives. However, with its strong emotional impact, the song is not only an intimate memory, but a metaphor for his daughter, whom he never saw again.

10. Switzerland/SRF Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen 2022
The imaginary mask

Title: Die eingebildete Maske

Author(s): Wolfram Hoell und Johannes Mayr

Producer: Wolfram Hoell

Director: Ulrich Bassenge

Sound engineer: Björn Müller

Other key staff: Ulrich Bassenge (composer), Musicians: Claus Filser, Evi Keglmaier, Andreas Höricht, Georg Karger, Silvia Berchtold, Ulrich Bassenge

Language: German

Length: 51:10

The characters in Molière’s plays are doctors in spite of themselves, imaginary invalids, greedy misers, cunning daughters and opportunists who live for the moment. 400 years after Molière’s birthday, they make ideal characters for a parody in the face of the pandemic.

Anett is at the centre of the radio play. She only wants one thing: to drive buses. That’s her profession – no, her vocation! But there’s one thing she certainly doesn’t want: compulsory face masks! After all, how is Anett supposed to check whether the photo on the monthly pass matches the passenger’s face if he’s wearing a face mask? Anett resorts to thuggish behaviour on her bus and, in spite of herself, becomes so the hero of Corona sceptics!

This is where the story really takes off. Anett gets involved with a fake doctor who sells invisible masks. Her daughter Lucy invites the famous vegan YouTube chef Hilda to her school. Hilda is captivated by Anett’s social media fame and makes deliberate advances towards her. The two become a couple and start producing videos together. Yet Hilda’s recipe videos have been replaced by ramblings about vaccination dictatorship and world conspiracy, while Anett promotes invisible masks. The followers are thrilled.

The only one who isn’t thrilled is Lucy. She helplessly watches her love-struck mother become increasingly radicalized. With a lot of cunning and the help of her teacher Urs, she tries to prevent a huge show-down ...

11. UK/ BBC
Berlin Alexanderplatz (ep. 1)

Author(s): Alfred Döblin, adapted by Simon Scardifield

Producer(s): Gemma Jenkins, David Hunter, Emma Harding and Marc Beeby

Director: Gemma Jenkins and David Hunter

Sound engineer: Keith Graham, Alison Craig, Anne Bunting and Caleb Knightley.

Other key staff: Ben Hollands (Production Co-Ordinator)

Language: English

Length: 58:22

Franz Biberkopf is released from prison after serving time for killing his girlfriend. He returns to his old stomping ground of Berlin, determined to go straight. A Jewish friend, Eliser, and Ruben help him to re-acclimatise to civilian life. Franz meets and starts a relationship with a young woman from Poland called Lina. Lina introduces Franz to her Uncle Otto and the two men go into business together selling shoelaces. Otto, jealous of Franz’s success with women, rapes one of Franz’s clients. Franz is back at square one – alone with no job and penniless.

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