Best performance award for the Sfumato Theatre with „The Dream of Gogol“

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Margarita Mladenova, artistic director of the Sfumto Laboratory Theatre and Ivan Dobčev were awarded the prize for the best performance at the International Small Scene Theatre Festival in Rijka, Croatia.



Quote from the jury’s statement:


“The compilation of Gogol's texts serves as an homage to this great author and as such enables both the cast and each individual member to put forth their own artistic expression. The team play is brought to perfection that can only be paralleled by a music piece, and this is why the play Gogol's Dream, a production by Theatre Laboratory Sfumato from Sofia, Bulgaria and directed by Margarita Mladenova and Ivan Dobčev, deserves the Veljko Maričić Award for the Best Show on the whole.”

The 23rd edition of the festival took place from 3 – 10 May 2016 under the slogan "Is theatre on fire?". The jury was represented by Željka Turčinović, Svetlana Bojković, Damir Orlić.


The International Small Scene Theatre Festival was founded in Rijeka in 1994 as a Croatian festival. Under the guidance of its founder, the actor Nenad Šegvic and its first selector – the theatre critic Dalibor Foretic, its aim was to assemble the best and most progressive performances of chamber theatre, most often produced by independent theatre groups.

Since 1999, when the Festival selector became the theatre critic and dramaturg Jasen Boko, The Small Scene Theatre Festival has officially changed into an international event, in spite of the fact that it had up till then also included some international shows in its programme.


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About The Dream of Gogol

This is not simply a performance on Gogol’s texts; this is a subsequent expedition of Sfumato in an author’s world. On the horizon of our quest we can foresee the phantasmagoric silhouette of Gogol, wrapped around his famous overcoat, timidly tiptoeing at the mighty Nevsky Prospect – a gigantic display of the Empire where St. Petersburg marches by daily. That ghost-city, that nutty project inspired by the image of the heavenly Jerusalem is recognized by Gogol as a haunt of demons and devils. Gogol’s humans live amongst them – every single one of them is a duplicate of himself, a nature of his fears, yearnings and disappointments. And they, just like their creator, stand before the riddle of the Genesis – as David in front of Goliath, as Oedipus in front of the Sphinx, as the snail against the mountain. They rave their lives on the edge between two abysses – the cosmos and the microcosm, the visible and the invisible, the dream and the wakefulness, the enchantment and the desperation. Behind the touching seriousness of the insistence on achieving their predestination, on fulfilling their duty to the phenomenon of life, peeks an uterine fear – fear from the traps of that very same life. Marriage as one of the most ancient traps of life, against which the human ant guards its intimate space in panic. In the carousel, eccentric movement of the “divine mechanic” the trace of the singly human act produces the effect of the firefly in June: light on, light off. Yet the billion flashes write out in the dark a sentence of providence; a sentence that is inarticulate for us. The genius of Gogol releases our intuition for paradoxes, for phantasmagoric enlightenments, truer than straight logic. Like the speculation that success is a form of death, whereas the failure – a chance for resurrection. Otherwise how can we acknowledge the human as a being that is striving for happiness – and running away from it when finally finding it?


M. Mladenova – I. Dobčev



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The Dream of Gogol


Directors | Margarita MladenovaIvan Dobčev


Cast | Snezhina Petrova, Albena Georgieva, Miroslava Gogovska, Elena Dimitrova, Hristo Petkov, Tzvetan Alexiev, Ognyan Golev, Antonio Dimitrievsky


Opened on 16 March 2009

At the Sfumato Labarotory Theatre

Sofia, Bulgaria



More info at the festival's website