Motivated by Fyodor Mihajlovich Dostoievsky’s novel Crime and Punishment


Two hundred and fifty years of psychological realism had set some seemingly untouchable standards:

each character must be portrayed with the maximum possible amount of information on his or her appearance, speech and behavior,
a character’s past must be known, because all the motivations for his or her behavior come from therein.
A character must be completely independent, meaning that the author must remove himself and his opinion from the story, in order not to disturb the reader or viewer, attempting to accept fiction as reality
But there are authors who have broken this age-old pact between novel and reader. What do we know of the childhood of K. or Švejk? Musil, Broch and Gombrowicz appear in their own novels with opinions of their own, because a character is not a mocking bird approximation of a human being but rather a fictional person, an experimental I.

But don’t get me wrong: I have no intention to complain about the viewer and the viewers naïve, yet legitimate desire to sink into a performances dream world and substitute it with reality at times. I am not however certain that the technique of psychological realism is the only possible way to get there. Due to lack of information our character shall be no less alive. Because to create a living, life-like character is to reach the bottom of his or her existential core, the bottom of the few poses, motifs and keywords that mould the character. This is why a performance does not research reality but rather existence. And existence is not what has happened, existence is a wide field of man’s possibilities, everything a character may become or could become, not even knowing. A character and his world must therefore be understood as a possibility, a world not like any known reality, but rather a final and never realized possibility of human existence.

Matjaž Pograjc


  • Directed by: Matjaž Pograjc
  • Created and performed by: Primož Bezjak, Daša Doberšek, Branko Jordan, Andreja Kopač, Irena Kovačević, Branko Potočan
  • Music by: SILENCE (Boris Benko, Primož Hladnik)
  • Dramaturgy: Željko Hrs
  • Theory: Urša Zabukovec
  • Stage set: Sandi Mikluž, Matjaž Pograjc
  • Costumes: Mateja Benedetti
  • Light design: Tomaž Štrucl
  • Sound design: Marijan Sajovic
  • Executive producer: Ira Cecić
  • Produced by: Bunker, Ljubljana in collaboration with Schauspielhaus, Vienna
  • With help of: KUD Opoka Goriška Brda, L’animal a l’esquena, Centre Creaciao Celra
  • Performance was made possible by: Ministry of Culture, City Council of Ljubljana

Photo: Primož Bizjak
Video: Bunker archive
Editors: Gregor Gobec, Urška Boljkovac

Additional informations


  • World premiere: 4th January 2004, Studio Schauspeilhaus, Vienna
  • Slovene premiere: 25th January 2004, Umetniški atelje Rožna dolina, Ljubljana

Past performances:

  • 5th and 6th January 2004, Studio Schauspeilhaus, Vienna
  • 26th January 2004, Umetniški atelje Rožna dolina, Ljubljana
  • August 2004, The Days of Poetry and Wine, Medana
  • 10th to 13th November 2004, The Netherlands Tour
  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd June 2005, Stara mestna elektrarna – Elektro Ljubljana


Michael Seaver: Wrestling Dostoievsky, The Irish Times


Technical requirements