Family Stories

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By Biljana Srbljanovic. Translated and adapted by Bojana Novakovic. Directed by Robert Kennedy and Bojana Novakovic.

A war is over, or it might not be. The inflation rate is absurdly high, there are demonstrations in the streets, politicians’ wives are publishing self-help books, families are rationing food and kids are left unsupervised in their concrete playgrounds. On stage, or at the back of an apartment block, four adult actors play children playing adults:  mum, dad, son, and the family dog. It is normal for the dad to hit the mum and it is normal for them to hit the kids. This is the game of Family Stories: Belgrade – a turbulent and hilarious allegory of post war society.

Biljana Srbljanovic’s work explores the boundaries between theatre and reality, personal and public opinion, decency, comedy and tragedy. Fiercely smart, she stunned Europe with her unique approach to expressing unbearable psychological and political anxiety following the breakdown of Serbia.  With this play, she strengthened an entire culture’s consciousness of their contemporary existence.

“A play blackly proclaiming that misery can not last forever while it does a sterling job of portraying the habitual misery people can make of each others lives… a mocking attack on the collective denial of social decay will appeal…” Sydney Morning Herald

“There are points when the play makes profound social commentary about the west and its values. Family Stories: Belgrade is a story that needs to be told, an insight into a world so far removed from our own, yet not so far as to be unbelievable.”

Cast: Richard Gyoerffy, Tanya Goldberg, Brendann May,  Phaedra Nicolaidis. Design: Simone Romaniuk. Lighting: Verity Hampson. Sound: Max Lyandvert and Basil Hogios. Produced: Esti Regos, Joana Fishman and Bojana Novakovic.
  • An Australian premiere at Griffin Theatre, part of Griffin Independent 2008