Slovenia gained its independence in 1991, and joined the European Union in 2004. This book, with its substantial introduction and four Slovene plays in translation, makes a unique contribution to an understanding of both the dramatic and theatrical history of this period of enormous political change in Slovenia. The Great Brilliant Waltz (1985) by Drago Jančar was written and produced when Slovenia was still part of the former Yugoslavia. This black comedy is set in the mental hospital ‘Freedom Sets Free’, a metaphor for the totalitarian society of the communist era. Draga Potočnjak is foremost among the few female playwrights in Slovenia. Based on real events, The Noise Animals Make is Unbearable (2003) shows a mentally retarded and severely autistic Bosnian boy after soldiers kill his whole family in front of his eyes, leaving only his grandmother. Critics have seen the play as the best tribute that Slovene drama has offered to the victims of the Bosnian war. The fabric of Dušan Jovanović’s comedy The Boozski Clinic (1999) is the transition into capitalism. Losers on the edge of society, examples of the collateral damage of a newly capitalist society whose rules of operating they do not wish to obey, congregate in a small bar in a small town which used to be the pride of the communist government.
Matjaž Zupančič’s play The Corridor (2004) is set in the corridor outside a television studio where the ‘reality’ programme ‘Big Brother’ is being filmed. The ever-present television camera in the studio represents current invisible but nonetheless totalitarian power, with its technical interference and controlling of individuals’ lives.