The play Overture for a Requiem is a consistent extension of the earlier work of the Maska i Pokret Theater. Remaining within their range of means of expression – a magnified mask that combines with the human body, music and movement – they take this play a step further by complicating the plot and individualising characters here linked by the complex mutual dramatic relationships.
While at the heart of the previous play was one character (Leopoldine) in whose function (and memory) were all others, in this play the characters and their relationships are organised according to a binary, oppositional model, so that each character has its opposite in the other character – the double.
Such a structure formulates a complex “story” (or, more precisely, a series of stories, since, of course, the characters and the relationships established between them can be interpreted in many ways), and hints a play of mirrors driven by the reciprocal relations of the characters.


The main character, Sebastian, returns to his “home” at the end of his life’s journey – just before his death. He goes through several episodes with ghosts from his miserable life (childhood with dead mother, wedding with deceased bride, birthday with dead harlequin). The plot seems to go retrospectively backwards but at the same time irrepressibly forward – towards the ultimate goal – Sebastian’s showdown with Gustav, his fictitious demon, a brute, his double in a striped suit.
The moment Sebastian manages to enter Gustav’s space, he discovers that everything he lived for – his obsession, everything he wanted to be and failed to be, what he dreamed about, what he aspired for, what he feared and what he worshipped – was in fact just a banal illusion. Gustav is just a lifeless doll, and Sebastian dies – in a symbolic sense precisely because of this fact. Unravelling this illusion also destroys the meaning of his life. Women in Black find him as a corpse and prepare for the posthumous bath which the show ends with.


The stage space is organised to suggest a microcosms. The depleted image of human life has already been achieved by organising a stage space – reducing all living spaces to a few important and all events to a few memorable ones.

To the left of the scene is the privileged place of Gustav’s eternal residence, a space that Sebastian has no access to. On the right side of the proscenium is a space that symbolises the courtyard and where childhood scenes take place. Central space is empty. From the depths of the middle part of the scene towards the proscenium, the characters of Women in Black emerge, representing a kind of choir, judges, characters of parturient and undertaker. The wedding table appears in the centre of the scene during the play, which in the next scene becomes a deathbed. At the same time, the table is both, and also a place of sensual enjoyment.


In this, as in previous plays of theatre Maska i Pokret the music plays an important function. This time it is composed music of Vladimir Kostović, made according to imagined scenes in agreement with the authors of the play. In addition to the functionality, Vladimir Kostović’s music has another feature: the music complements the content of the scene, and in some cases even comments on it, making it not only a formal but an essential part of the play.

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