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21 Apr 11

Macedonian Director Earns Praise for Play in London

Project Snowflake, a play by Macedonian director Sasha C. Damjanovski, has enjoyed positive reviews after premiering in London earlier this month.

Maja Nedelkovska
Skopje

The play, which premiered at the Jack London Studio Theatre on April 5, is a comedy about life and love in 2060, and a government plan to record dreams.

“Exeunt magazine” gave the piece four out of five stars and wrote that many playwrights would be pleased to achieve a production half as fulfilling after several attempts, so it’s a credit to Damjanovski that this is his first full-length play.

“As both writer and director he is surely one to watch; his Project Snowflake is the theatrical equivalent of well-made pop,” writes the magazine.

The London Time Out Guide also gave the play four out of five stars.

“I’m overjoyed with the reactions from the audience and critics. The audience obviously leaves the theatre very satisfied. People are intrigued and they are talking about the performance in the bar,” says Damjanovski.

Asked if it is difficult to write a comedy at a time when the world is struggling to recover from recession, Damjanovski said that humour helps us deal with life's troubles.

“Reality is a matter of perspective. No matter how hard the times are, you'll always find a way to laugh. I think that a sense of humour is exactly the thing that helps us deal with the pressures and crises of life.

“When I say perspective- it is important to have in mind that our reality would be strange for people who lived in 1911 or 1811 or 1711. From their perspective, most of our problems probably would seem totally unimportant,” he added.

Project Snowflake is set in 2060, at a time when the country is ruled by an all-seeing government that controls almost all parts of daily life.

The two main characters, Martha and Jeremy, work together at the Creativity Institute, where they have designed a dream recording machine.

The government, though, doesn't want to allow recordings of embarrassing dreams or nightmares, they only want happy dreams to be saved.

As Martha and Jeremy struggle to defend their invention and freedom of thought, a “hilarious and poignant battle ensues”, and the two scientists “discover a long-lost feeling – a pesky little thing called love”, the theatre writes in its description of the play.

Asked to describe the play's origin, Damjanovski explains that the script was developed almost by accident, when he was working on the award-winning short film “Green pages”, which is an adaptation of a phonebook.

“It was a fun and abstract love story. When I was finished, I started to think about the two main characters. I wanted to find out what happened to them at the end of the story and that is how I started the story of Martha and Jeremy- the two main characters of Project Snowflake,” the director says.

With this play, as in his movies, he collaborated with the Macedonian musician Nikola Kodzabashija, who wrote the music for “Project snowflake”.

Damjanovski is known to the Macedonian public for his feature film “Dance with me” and a few short films, and says he is working on other film projects.

“I’m developing my second feature film “Kalabalak”, which, if everything goes well, should be a Macedonian-European co-production,” Damjanovski told Balkan Insight.

Damjanovski has lived and worked in London for the past two decades.

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