In December 2021 Little Lion Theatre Company participated in the international launch of the first ever English translations of Slovenian playwright, Ivan Cankar, by staging a reading of Cankar’s dramatic poem Beautiful Vida. The international translation project is a collaboration with Slovenian National Playwriting Festival, Preseren Theatre Kranj, and Crane Creations Theatre Company (Mississauga, Canada).
Beautiful Vida (1911, originally Lepa Vida) is an adaptation of a Slovenian folk song. The tale of Lepa Vida tells of a young woman whisked away from her poor and sickly husband and child, who is brought to care for the children of the Queen of Spain. She is eager to go, but once in Spain, she spends all her time gazing out the window across the sea, longing to return to her former life. Combined with the motifs of a dilapidated sugar factory, a final refuge of dying poets and the downtrodden, Vida longs for happiness in a different world, but regrets her escape because the world of bourgeois bliss is alien to her; she prefers to return to the world of suffering, which is the only real source of longing, and that is the essence of life.
Ivan Cankar, playwright, essayist, poet and political activist, is regarded as the greatest writer in the Slovene language, and has sometimes been compared to Henrik Ibsen, Franz Kafka and James Joyce. He is considered the father of modern Slovene theatre and has had a major influence on almost all Slovene playwrights thereafter. His playwriting opus consists of 7 full length plays, all featuring a large cast, complex themes and deep understanding of socio economic and political nuances of Slovene society.
For more information on Ivan Cankar, check out Crane Creation Theatre Company's website: https://www.cranecreations.ca/plays-of-ivan-cankar/. The books are now available on Amazon, and the limited edition box set of the collection can be ordered on Crane Creation Theatre Company's website.
Cast of Beautiful Vida
Biz Lyon Vida
Seden Asti Eron The Mother/Narrator
Val Adams Milena
Matteo Mikkelsen Dolinar
Brian Law Damjan
Mattia Sedda Mrva
Rebecca Ryder Dioniz
Sarah Parker Poljanec
Anna Kato The Doctor
Kay Brattan Director
Alice Greening Producer
Beautiful Vida was presented at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden on Monday December 6th, 2021.