Mercadet Stage Design

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  • Stage Design: Sanja Jurca Avci, Light Design: Andrej Hajdinjak
  • Ljubljana City Theatre, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 29 September 2018

Mercadet Honore Balzac's surprisingly creative play on the extremes of capitalism and stock market speculation. In fact, although it is set in mid-19th century France, it can also be easily adapted to the contemporary world.

Ljubljana City Theatre did exactly that under janez pipan's direction and adapted the play into today's world. Sanja Jurca Avcı designed a scene that reflects contemporary spaces and the way they are used: Mercadet's home-office, lounge and safe.

In keeping with the director's vision, Sanja designed the home-office as "where people sweat" – a masculine space with no decorations and a small office for Mercadet's secretary. The fact that the entrances are made with a ladder from the front implies that this is actually a basement. Unlike this dark and hard space, behind a door resembling a spaceship, there's a large hall reminiscent of the 2001 Space Adventure. This hall represents the ideal elegance the family is trying to achieve. Contrary to this elegance, the "mismatched" daughter of the house uses this hall as a pottery workshop. At the end of the game, the back wall of the hall opens and the space where the family keeps the safe is illuminated by bright lights that blind the audience and therefore prevent them from actually detecting the contents of the vault.

In the last part of the game, where a new currency – Mercoin – is located (this currency is not included in Balzac's game, it is the discovery of the director), a gigantic gold Mercoin – like the new Sun – is lowered down, while the ceiling of the hall is lowered downwards, indicating the end of an era in the family's life.

The entire scene is surrounded by portals with built-in lights that penetrate deep into the stage. These portals point to the distorted nature of Mercadet's speculation and intrigue that ultimately led to its destruction.

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