"This theme of a performance, with constant running three maraton-men,
we want to use for research of movement and words in movement, led
by rythm of music, and this way connect an ancient-greek's idea of
sports and theatre with contemporary arena of rock'n'roll, olimpics
and media, in the times that changes the cult of harmony into the cult
Damir Šaban, for Jutarnji list, 20.12.1998.
"The three actors (Žarko Potočnjak, Damir Šaban, Sven Medvešek) are of a single national / cultural composition, and their acting is certainly strictly functional within the tiresome concept of the director / coach which, among other things, includes two hours of almost non - stop running of the three marathon runners.The simple running and exercising melts, when necessary, into choreographed movement (movement: Matjaž Farie and Ljiljana Zagorac), the actors play instead of act fictional characters (Writer, Qualified worker, Peasant), it is amusing to see the actors edited into projected movies and their high-voltage running goes with merciless spending of energy.
Set design (by Tihomir Milovac) imitates the architecture of a stadium, with east and west stands, two opposite screens, two projectors (like cameras) and the ground, polyfunctional podium with boards coming up and opening the view into space "below deck", coming vertically up and like screens dividing the playground space, or serving as various objects on the scene.
No other Croatian director in the post - war period has had that much courage in staging such a delicate, risky, but in a moral sense crucial, almost existential demand for self-critical judgement of one's own community."
Marin Blažević ,Novi list, January 24, 1999.
"The experience of the recent war in the show is depicted in such a
combination (thanks to the congenial recognition and really
extraordinary skills of film maker Neven Hitrec). Watching the war in
Marathon, we are watching a war apart of all political analyses,
possibly apart of all political responsibilities as well, but at the
same time the war which does not negate any of the responsibilities,
but even gives them the depth."
Branko Matan, Jutarnji list, January 25, 1999.
"In his other works, as well as in the theatrical performance Marathon,
the polyphonic structure, unrestrained associativity, quotability of
various intentions, collaging, contrapuntal editing/assembly,
fragmentariness and tortuousness of the narrative course, the division
of the executional channels, simultaneous multimediatility,
autoreference are recognizable. Hence, already at first glance, a real
titbit for those who engage in critical and theoretical reflexion on
Brezovec is also identified as a real theatrical Emperor, a ruler over
numerous discourses. The performance Marathon and its author Brezovec
hold the mythical position of the one being the first to speak out of
war from an aesthetic position."
Dubravka Crnojevia Caria, Frakcija 12-13, June 1999.
."Words, it has to be said, in Brezovec's performances, are never the basic element. With Brezovec, one can always expect the so-called total theatre in which one should look for one's own joy and meanings, both in the acting and in the play of the light and tonal abundance (which has become exceptionally rich and varying thanks to his Macedonian theatre experience). Set designer is for Brezovec always only the executor of his strictly enchased theatre visions. Always to the end, strong, exhausting, not letting your senses deaden, so when the movement, the running and the words slow down, there is video, music… and thus to the end without a break."
Boris Rotar, Glas Istre, April 19, 1999.
Acting part of the performance is certainly the best because the three supremely created characters, portrayed on the stage/stadium by Potoenjak, Medvešek and Šaban, release a great amount of energy and transfer it to the audience. The meaning of the Marathon is in pointing out of our age, which has transformed the cult of harmony into the cult of energy."
Dubravka Lampalov-Malešević, Jutarnji list, January 22, 1999.
"The huge energy of the actors which, multiplying itself from one scene into another, is released during the performance, seems to underline mostly the violence in order to create through contrastive perspectives poetic theatrical images which are much closer to a performance than to a classic theatrical expression."
Dubravka Vrgoč, Vjesnik, January 22, 1999.
"The performance really seems like a well directed rock-concert,
because the same thing happens to the audience, which projects its
individuality onto the group performing on the stage. The music by
Antun Blažinović and Ivan Koprivčević, partly performed by themselves, acting together with the runners, is a real background and the humorous remark of interweaving of urban culture and Croatian traditional music forms."
Želimir Ciglar, Večernji list, January 22, 1999.
"Needless to doubt that the opinions on the value, meaning and
originality of this latest performance by Brezovec will be
diametrically opposed. That is one of the important characteristics of
Brezovec's role in the history of modern Croatian theatre."
Hrvoje Ivanković, Slobodna Dalmacija, January 22, 1999.
"The performance suggests that the "logic" of the 1940-ies war has
maybe never ended; it has just changed its iconography.The real
horrors of the battles on the river of Sutjeska and Neretva have been
turned into the ideology of lukewarm and tendentious socialist-movies,
just as the real horrors of Vukovar are drowned in Croatian pulp cinema
of the nineties. The war that Marathon is speaking about cannot end as ,
long as the criterion of survival is a military instead of a civil
Nataša Govedić, Zarez, March 5, 1999.
The metaphor is simple. Life is a marathon race. One man runs it for
the first time. Another man runs it for the last time and realises
he has never won in his life before, so that he sees the possibility
of winning in the fact that the beauty of living is in the act of
running itself. The third man runs for, lets say, fifteenth time and
thinks it is always somebody else's fault that he has never become the
champion. There are three kinds of people: ambitious, hurt and the
people who have given up. Croatia on a small scale. They start running
through a real and end up in an imaginary metaphysical space, lets say
they run all the way to the stars, and between the stars and the real
space, they run through Croatian panorama, Croatian political, social
and theatrical reality. As in "Forest Gump", you can see our merry
actors with serious politicians, Mr Vrdoljak, the President of the
Croatian Olympic Committee, Mr Granić, president Tuđman.
This performance will deal with what Croatian theatre does not deal
Branko Brezovec in his interview for Nacional, December 2, 1998.