photo: Simon Richardson
The originality of Mladen's work lies in his capacity to evoke passion, pathos and humour through the physical skills of his actors. His theatre is performed without his actors speaking, but in such a way that one is unaware of the absence of speech.
This silence and physicality, at once universal and particular, accounts for the intense emotional impact of his work. Materic considers scenic space to be as much of a partner as the other actors on the stage. This is reflected in his approach to making theatre he designs as well as directs and writes Tattoo Theatres productions.
Space is a device, an instrument, and not a place of theatre action. Form, dimension, position, direction, surfaces, and volume are as much the performers expressive means as gestures or words.
Mladen Materic founded Theatre Tattoo in his home town of Sarajevo before moving to Toulouse in 1991. In 1998 he directed a production with students from Le Lido - Centre des arts du cirque de Toulouse.
His two most recent productions The Odyssey (2000) and Kitchen (2002) have integrated some of these circus artists and their skills. Three of his former students created Compagnie 111 who won critical acclaim with Plan B in the 2003 London International Mime Festival and whose IJK will be the centerpiece of the 2004 festival.