Seven Kilometres North-East

Version 1.0 - Adelaide College of the Arts - Main Theatre. 23 Feb 2012

If you are not already familiar with the atrocities which took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Yugoslav Wars when, amongst other things, the Croats and Serbs attempted to divide and assimilate the land between them (Bosnian War 1992-1995), then this show is a great opportunity to find out more.

It focuses specifically on the events which took place on the famous Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad and at the Vilina Vlas Hotel – a notorious rape camp where almost 200 women were tortured and eventually killed.

Kym Vercoe recounts for us in great detail her experiences as a naïve tourist, and then delves deeper as she describes her return to the country armed with a thirst for more knowledge and a desire to delve further into the history of a political social genocide; why she wants to know more - she herself cannot explain.

Vercoe devised this production after stumbling across something haunting, which she cannot let go. “It’s a story about remembering” she writes. Narrating her journey in English and occasionally in Bosnian, Vercoe gives the characters in her story the life which they gave her – translating their impact on her with the passion and vigour one only gets when they have been profoundly changed by an experience.

With excellent lighting design by Emma Lockhart-Wilson and Christopher Page, stunning video artistry by Sean Bacon and poignant Musical direction and singing by Sladjana Hodžić, Verecoe creates the perfect mise-en-scène – combining her use of props, timing and the space just wonderfully.

Vercoe incorporates her own journal notes, the writings of award winning novelist Ivo Andrić, her travel bible (a tourist guidebook), and transcripts from the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia. All the time projecting footage, filmed on location, onto a blank white wall, which eerily symbolises the Vilina Vlas Hotel, and her accidentally disrespectful balcony clothes washing incident (you’ll have to see the show).

Warning - this is no comedy. This is not cabaret, burlesque, circus or musical. Be prepared to be taken on a journey to Višegrad. Vercoe’s heart is in this work – much like the geographical shape of the country she loves so much, this production fills right out to the edges.

Paul Rodda

When: 25 Feb to 4 Mar
Where: Adelaide College of the Arts - Main Theatre