I am currently helping prepare the performance Father Courage for Dubrovnik Summer Festival, which will premiere next Tuesday. Directed by Boris Bakal, it is a performance that takes place in a number of locations around the old city and so requires some walking as there are no cars inside the city walls. I won't disclose too much about the show in advance, as there are some very nice surprises, but it is enough to say that the work brings together guiding, multi-media theatre, tells many stories in personal, political and poetic ways, and it remains an open-ended and at times beautiful experience.
While the work deals less directly with tourism than most of the tours I have been writing about here, since it is happening here in Dubrovnik, tourism remains a definite presence. It is the city's main industry and it has transformed the character of the old town out of all recognition and besides, we keep crossing the paths of tourists as they mill around Stradun (pictured above) in the centre. Last night we made a run through of the show and a tourist from Italy happened to join us out of curiosity. She seemed very happy to have had this experience which led her through many parts of the city and into situations that a tourist might not otherwise encounter. While this sort of work is probably not for every tourist's tastes I genuinely believe that for a significant number of 'reluctant tourists' like the Italian woman from last night, it can be far more engaging than standardised guided tours. In a sense, with most touristic tours the format is completely familiar, it is just the content that varies from place to place. With this however it is an artistic performance which, in many ways, gives a much fuller and more vivid, subjective impression of the city, culture and people.