Translated by Lesley Anne Wade
Alisa, Alice is a humanely cruel and deeply moving drama, full of passion and desire. The clash of two cultures is described with psychological accuracy and depth. Alisa, a young Muslim refugee scarred by the Balkan war finds shelter with Magda, a representative of the common so-called civilised but self-destructive and self-loving western world. Magda, through the sadism arising from her despair and loss of purpose and her psychological confusion, inadvertantly causes the suicide of Alisa.
The relationship between the two protagonists is permeated as much with love as with hatred, is decanted through the dictatorship of language into a miraculous, irrational and mysterious atmosphere. In places, the style of the play is reminiscent of Pinter’s comedy of menace. The realistically based dramatic events are firmly grounded in a recognisable and actual contemporaneity. Poetic ambiguity facilitates universal interpretation, and here and there extends to the magical and surreal.
The playwright Dragica Potocnjak, began working in the theatre as an actor. She performed the leading roles in about ten films for cinema and TV. In 1992 she started to write for theatre and radio. Her plays have been performed at Slovenia's major theatres, including the National Theatre. This is the first work by a female Slovene playwright to be translated into English.
Lesley Wade is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter and Co-editor of Studies in Theatre and Performance. She brings to this project a 34-year acquaintance with this small country (Slovenia), its concerns, and an acquired knowledge of its language.
'Alisa, Alice is a play that broadens our horizons; in this case, horizons of nightmarish discomfort; so well that even applause cannot lift the spell.' – Petra Viladli, Vecer, Maribor
'The play is exceptionally complex...the end of the story is shocking, as drama should be.' – Tomaz Simon, Radio Slovenija 1
'Uncompromising honesty … reaching the spectator’s most hidden recesses of response...' – Mojca J. Zoran, Dnevnik, Ljubljana