Troubleyn | Jan Fabre

The Night Writer - Slovenia | NOCNI PISEC

with Marko Mandic

Marko Mandic brings Fabre's unique universe to life in a theatrical reading. He is accompanied by music composed and performed by Stef Kamil Carlens. Jan Fabre signs for the text, the direction and the scenography.

The Night Writer introduces the audience to the innovative and versatile artist that Jan Fabre is: over the past 40 years, he has made his mark as a visual artist, theatre artist and author. He describes himself as a consilience artist, someone who is constantly searching for bridges between fact-based theory and practice across disciplines.

The script is a selection of fragments from Jan Fabre’s Night Diary I (1978-1984) and Night Diary II (1985-1991), as well as an anthology of fragments from theatre texts that were written by Fabre in the years 1976 to 2012. 

The art film Hey what a pleasant madness brings us back to Fabre’s hometown Antwerp at the beginning of the 90ties. It is a cinematic registration of the art performance that Fabre, then in his early 30s, executed in a rowing boat on the river Schelde, the river that typifies the port city Antwerp. 

Like his drawings, Fabre’s texts reflect his intimate experiences, his recurring desires, ideas and obsessions. They are mostly written in the night-time hours, when all is silent and solitude sets in, in his very own, original language. They open the door to a world full of fantasy and surprising insights. The main themes are beauty and art, family, the night and insomnia, acting and directing, the self-portrait and other animals, the body, blood and other bodily fluids, life and death. Jan Fabre’s imagination never stops working. It even keeps him awake. He collects his history and writes the script for his future. He envisions, envisages, discovers, discloses and signifies.

"Through the dynamic transformations and external expressions of the internal action, the viewer is very convincingly seduced by Marko Mandic, Fabre's chosen alter ego, astute and assertive, as he embodies himself in the form of a recognisable character with the direct power of his feelings, self-observing in a puppet, moving and singing through a minimalist space with a desk and insidious reflections, shadows that suddenly, probably unintentionally, connect with the association of images of Plato's cave, which speak of blindness, shadows, reflections of true visibility, ideas, sensitivity, knowledge, art and truth." - Magda Tusar | Radio Slovenia, 30 May 2021

"To read the diary is to discover the multiple, contradictory and intriguing sides of Jan Fabre, who reveals himself sometimes visionary, sometimes disarming and shrewd, sometimes prickly and moving, provocative and hesitant, subversive and proud of his Flemish figurative tradition. () And then an obvious and significant discrepancy emerges between the artist's life during the day, rich in impressions, sensations, work, performances, exhibitions, projects and his life at night, possibly even more intense - intimate, lacerating, overwhelming, full of creative fury, now meditative, now "sanguine". The affirmation of limitless curiosity and of inexhaustible energy, revolving in these pages around the role of the body, a body that is both spiritual and material, cultural and visceral, a place of thought but also of blood, urine, sperm, nucleus of the eternal flow of birth-death-rebirth. () A portrait deep red and engaging. (Franco Paris)

About Marko Mandic

Slovenian performer Marko Mandic is known for working on numerous films, including The Hitman's Bodyguard (2016), TV series In the Face of Crime and theatre productions such as Inferno directed by Vinko Moderndorfer. He has gone on to win German TV Award ‘best lead role’ multiple times and best actor 31st international film festival in Alexandria.

See production on SNG DRAMA Ljubljana website: The Night Writer Slovenia@SNG DRAMA


Performer Marko Mandic
Concept, direction, scenography Jan Fabre
Music Stef Kamil Carlens
Dramaturgy Miet Martens
Translation Mateja Seliškar Kenda
Production Troubleyn/Jan Fabre (Antwerp, BE) & SNG DRAMA Ljubljana

Troubleyn/Jan Fabre receives funding from the Flemish government and support from the City of Antwerp



29/05/2021 Première
SNG DRAMA, Ljubljana
31/05/2021 SNG DRAMA, Ljubljana
01/06/2021 SNG DRAMA, Ljubljana
12/06/2021 SNG DRAMA, Ljubljana
14/06/2021 SNG DRAMA, Ljubljana
16/06/2021 SNG DRAMA, Ljubljana (Streamed Online)
31/03/2022 SNG DRAMA, Ljubljana