As It Is by Damir Todorovic
Everyday psychological research suggests that human race has a tendency to lie. People lie constantly, ruthlessly and brazenly about everything.
An investigation takes place on the stage. The subject of the investigation is called “Damir Todorovic”, born in Vršac and Serbian by birth. “Damir” wants to confront his past, hooked up to a lie detector. Did certain things really happen, or are they just the product of his imagination?
In January 1993 he was sent to the war in Bosnia. He did not want to shoot. He did not want to serve his country. His life was in danger. What really happened there? Has his memory transformed reality? Is it possible to figure it out using a polygraph?
The actor is attached to a lie detector. The questions are asked according to a precise strategy. The examinee responds immediately, the polygraph detects and records his vegetative reactions and transforms them graphically into lines. These graphs are projected on a screen from which the audience can directly follow the emotional reactions of the examined actor.
As It Is examines the categories of true and false as important social issues, especially in European transition countries facing identity crises. It is about acting in everyday life, truth and fiction, authenticity and totalitarianism. It is a performance that provokes the questions: Can we live without lies? Is this desirable?
As It Is was a Belluard Bollwerk International Festival Production created by the late Vanishing Point Creative Associate, Damir Todorovic.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow
(part of Mayfesto)
'Todorovic has created a tense, intense, discomforting and fascinating hour…it condenses drama down to the most basic conflict…to make for a relentless and riveting experience.'
★★★★ The Herald
'As It Is emerges as an unforgettable piece of theatre, illuminated by a searing central performance from an actor with the courage to play himself when young, to strive for honesty, and to take the consequences.'
★★★★ The Scotsman
'In a week full of fine performances, one stands out as unforgettable. Damir Todorovic’s performance as himself, in the lie-detector drama As It Is, not only leads us into a disturbing exploration of the grey areas between truth and lies, it also reminds us of one of the most profound traumas in recent European history, as it opens up the mind of a fastidious and private man caught up in the savage civil war in former Yugoslavia, forced to carry in his mind a series of memories that make truth difficult, and silence often the least painful option.'
'As It Is is an admirable, shocking and compelling piece which proves that it is often what remains unsaid that lingers longest, and makes us question our own integrity.'
Across the Arts
'... what is the truth? What is true and what is false? And what is fiction? Are our memories reliable, or does our mind erase the unpleasant things that one does not want to remember? And can a man - an actor - deceive the polygraph? You come out with a lot of questions in your head after Damir Todorović’s As It Is...'
Corriere della Romagna
'... the theatre is the realization of a portion of reality. In this show, the distinction becomes impossible, and once again the parties are reversed, leaving the viewer alone, struggling with the question of which side of the scene was actually sitting during the show...'
'... a constant friction between reality and fiction!'
'Though the device is minimal, the effect is guaranteed. The thinking behind this work focuses on the duty of memory and the rewriting of reality. Shall we remember everything? Shall we remain attached to the past? Is Damir betrayed by his memory? Has he repressed the memory of the disturbing war? Has he arranged, either consciously or unconsciously, the facts? And the audience? Has the audience the right to judge this man's past, or even the young man in uniform he was? The truth of twenty years ago, the truth of today, the lie and the reconstruction, and always, during the play, the voice of the interrogator which resonates like a doubt.'
Link – art
A Belluard Bollwerk International Festival Production presented by Vanishing Point
Technical Manager Lee Davis
As It Is is made possible thanks to a contribution of the Canton of Fribourg to culture. With the support of Pour-cent culturel Migros & Fonds Culturel Sud.