The first performance of the German cycle

“The bridge between being principled and practical is called survival. In theatre, we always use stories to be able to talk about the world, we play roles to be able to speak of human nature, and we pretend that a table is a table. But we were aiming for a reverse principle. Since we cannot speak with any certainty and artistic integrity of anything else than ourselves, our position, our principles and non-principles – all the rest are moralistic discourses or whining excuses and guilt washing – precisely the things that an artist should not possess can emerge between practicality and integrity: detachment, fascism, sexism, narcissism, misanthropy … It is these little perversions which show that we are not exempted, even if we pretend that we are.

In the end, we have to admit to ourselves that we can do no other. Ich kann nicht anders.

And this dual position is more than perverse.

My life is disgusting, I make myself sick, and yet I am so far from changing anything. And even though I am frightened by these sacred spaces, I am unresponsive and stiff as soon as I leave them. In the end, I am not worth anything.”

The authorial poetics of collective Beton Ltd. (Katarina Stegnar, Branko Jordan, Primož Bezjak) is characterized by a search for intimate entries into the global issues – their position is often personal – a search for new, hybrid forms of performing, and a mastery of performing techniques. Ich kann nicht anders is their fifth performance, where the counterpoint between the total intimacy and the echoes of the global events reminds us of a thesis by Croatian philosopher Srećko Horvat, that the real revolution is always a revolution of everything, all social interactions, even the most intimate ones.

The world around us is saturated with change, and if there is one constant, it is currently uncertainty. We anticipate changes, but it is not yet clear what they might be. One of the possible strategies to combat the deafening noise of the world is to retreat into one’s own world. Not to surrender, but to defend one’s own intimate territory against the outside world. A retreat into intimacy, where freedom is possible and where utopia is – now.

Additional information

Premiere:  26th August 2016, 8.00 pm, Dvorana športnega društva Tabor, Ljubljana

Upcoming performances:
May 18th and 19th 2024, ŠD Tabor

Past performances:

  • March 18th and 19th 2023, ŠD Tabor
  • July 8th 2022, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria
  • May 14th 2022, ŠD Tabor
  • May 15th 2022, ŠD Tabor
  • 5th November 2021, 7.30 pm, Gimnazija Celje-Center, Hiša kulture Celje
  • 30th May 2021, ŠD Tabor – in English, for Trigger
  • 31st August 2020, at 10 pm, ŠD Tabor – in English, for Trigger
  • 21st June 2020, at 10 p.m., ŠD Tabor
  • 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th January 2020, La Mama, New York, USA
  • 5th January 2020 at 7 p.m., ŠD Tabor, Ljubljana (in English
  • 6th July 2019 at 9 p.m., Festival FKK, Kostanjevica na Krki, Slovenia
  • 10th March 2019 at 9 p.m., Dvorana športnega društva Tabor, Ljubljana
  • 6th and 7th October at 9.00 p.m., Dvorana športnega društva Tabor, Ljubljana
  • 11th August 2018, 9.00 p.m., Kamfest, Kamnik, Slovenia
  • 6th March 2018, 8.00 p.m., Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica, Slovenia
  • 10th and 11th February 2018, 8.00 pm, Dvorana športnega društva Tabor, Ljubljana
  • 10th and 11th October 2017, Festival Konfrontacje Teatralne Lublin, Poland
  • 5th and 6th October 2017, Prague Crossroads International Theatre Festival, Czech Republic
  • 17th September 2017, 8.00 pm, Dvorana športnega društva Tabor, Ljubljana
  • 3rd and 4th June 2017 at 8.00 pm, in the frame of Flanders – Balkan Express Meeting, Dvorana Športnega društva Tabor, Ljubljana
  • 13th and 14th May 2017 at 8.00 pm, Dvorana Športnega društva Tabor, Ljubljana
  • 4th April 2017, The Week of Slovenian Drama, Kranj
  • 22nd November 2016 ad 6.00 pm and 9.00 pm, Narodni dom Maribor, Maribor, in the frame of Drugajanje Festival
  • 19th and 20th November 2016, 8.00 pm, Dvorana športnega društva Tabor, Ljubljana
  • 8th, 9th October 2016, 8.00 pm, Dvorana športnega društva Tabor, Ljubljana
  • 24th, 25th September 2016, 8.00 pm Dvorana športnega društva Tabor, Ljubljana
  • 27th, 29th, 30th August 2016, 8.00 pm, Dvorana športnega društva Tabor, Ljubljana

Arhar N.: Ich kann nicht anders (Delo, 30. 8. 2016) (translation: M. Jesenko)
Jelesijević N.: In a vacuum of preserving bare life : Ich kann nicht anders (Radio Študent, 30.8.2016) (translation: M.Jesenko)


  • Conceived and directed by: Beton Ltd.
  • Performers: Primož Bezjak, Branko Jordan, Katarina Stegnar
  • Music: Dead Tongues
  • Space design: sonda4, Toni Soprano
  • Costume design: Mateja Benedetti
  • Sound design: Jure Vlahovič
  • Dramaturgical adviser: Urška Brodar
  • Graphic design: Saša Kladnik
  • Proofreading: Barbara Rogelj
  • Photography: Toni Soprano
  • Technical director: Andrej Petrovčič
  • Technical assistance: Martin Lovšin
  • Executive producer: Maja Vižin
  • Produced by: Bunker, Ljubljana

The performance was supported by: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Municipality of Ljubljana

With help of: Elektro Ljubljana d.d.,  Slovensko mladinsko gledališče
Thanks to: GT22, Športno društvo Tabor, Aljoša Cetinski, Mini Teater, Uroš Kaurin

Photo: Toni Soprano Meneglejte


Performance Ich kann nicht anders (2016) by Beton Ltd. was auctioned in August 2021 by Performance Auction House FORSALE in 9 lots.

Owner of lot no. 1 (Props / Object related to injury and pain): Roman Uranjek
Owner of lot no. 3 (Costumes / Sculptures of human existence): Tanja Črnič Oblak
Owner of lot no. 4 (Silences / Stillness of voices): Damjan Ilić
Owner of lot no. 5 (Time / Reality disappearing over 75 minutes): Balkan Express
Owner of lot no. 6 (Tableau Vivant / Death performing): Anonymous owner
Owner of lot no. 9 (Text / All the words of the performance, including words which violate copyright laws): Prešeren Theatre Kranj for The Week of Slovenian Drama