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Tomaž Pandur's last project put on in Maribor

Maribor, 21 September - Half a year after the untimely death of Slovenia's great theatre director, Tomaž Pandur's final project will be put on stage at his home town as The Immaculate/Immaculata opens at SNG Maribor theatre on Friday.

SNG Maribor theatre.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
File photo

Based on Colm Toibin's novel The Testament of Mary, the production was completed by Pandur's sister, dramaturgue Livija Pandur, and features Nataša Matjašec Rošker in the solo role of Mary, mother of Jesus.

Pandur had planned for his project to open a new season at the Maribor theatre in what would be his symbolic comeback to the theatre which he run as artistic director between 1989 and 1996.

"No one had imagined this is how he would return to Maribor," his sister and colleague Livija told the pre-opening news conference on Tuesday.

"At the same time it was unimaginable not to have this project. It was difficult, but I felt that a theatre stage could be a place where after 35 years of work with Tomaž we can try to heal our wounds."

The main theme of the show is loss. "Not just the loss of a son, but any loss in life that cuts deep into the human organism. Only after losing someone close to us, do we realise the meaning of such a loss and the wound it leaves, which no time or place can heal completely," said Livija.

The production has officially no director. Its team mostly comprises Pandur's long-term co-workers, including scenographer Marko Japelj, costume designer Leo Kulaš and Boris Benko and Primož Hladnik from Silence as the authors of music.

The play features a single female character, which would be the first time for Pandur to embark on a one-actor project. "It was his deepest wish - to make a great show about a woman," said Livija.

Tomaž Pandur died of a heart attack during a theatre rehearsal in Skopje, Macedonia, on 12 April, aged 53.

Known for his extravagant, large-scale productions, he was by far the most internationally acclaimed Slovenian theatre director. He spent most of his career working abroad, especially in Madrid.

© STA, 2016