THE LITTLE CORPORAL (A HISTORY CLASS)
THE LITTLE CORPORAL (A HISTORY CLASS)
Written by: Igor Bojović
Directed by: Saša Gabrić
Set Design: Boris Maksimović
Costume Design: Marina Vukasović Medenica
Costume Art: Olga Mrđenović
Selection of Music: Saša Gabrić
Language Editor: Dijana Marojević
Momčilo Gavrić МАRKO DEDIĆ / DANILO ANTIĆ
Grandpa Miloje: BOŽIDAR STOŠIĆ
Major Stevan Tucović: BOJAN LAZAROV
Voivode Živojin Mišić: АLEK RODIĆ
Soldier Radosavljević: LAZAR MILJKOVIĆ
English Nurse, Montenegrin Woman: ЈЕLENA ĆURUVIJA ĐURICA
Jelena Gavrić: KATARINA DIMITRIJEVIĆ
Аuthor: Igor Bojović
Stage: Evening/Youth Stage
The play Little Corporal reveals the heroic destiny of a historical personality, boy Momčilo Gavrić, who is forced to escape from his burned village in the vicinity of Loznica and embark on a difficult journey together with the Serbian Army in the turbulent times in Serbia in 1914. The boy becomes a war hero and a corporal in the ranks of Major Tucović. He participates in the Battle of Mojkovac, but refuses to remain in Montenegro as a war orphan, and secretly joins the Army retreating through Albania. The character of little Gavrilo testifies about the unreal courage and patriotism of children who experienced war trauma. This story can seem almost impossible or fictitious to the young audience today. Our children, and even we as adults, find it difficult to imagine what kind of horrors were happening in our country during the World War I. The tragedy of losing the whole family in one day turned an ordinary boy into a cold-blooded avenging warrior. Nevertheless, this war drama ends with the awakening of forgiveness in our little hero.
A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR - “Great” and “Little”
In the years of marking the 100th anniversary of the Great War, it seems that Little Theatre Duško Radović is the only one of all big and small theatres to perform a play about the Great War on its Evening Scene.
This shocking and unique story from Serbian history, about the boy whose family and childhood were taken away by the war, talks about the sufferings and resurrection of our small nation in its great struggle for survival. Momčilo Gavrić is one of the icons of the World War I and a symbol of our suffering. The romantic character of this boy had a tremendous impact on the Serbian Army and people.
May you rest in eternal glory and thank you!
A HISTORY CLASS
On 28 June 1914, in Sarajevo, nineteen-year-old Gavrilo Princip, a member of Young Bosnia, organisation aimed at overthrowing the Austro-Hungarian occupation regime in Bosnia, killed the Austro-Hungarian Archduke and Royal Prince Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie Chotek. The bullet that hit Sophie was intended for the infamous governor of Bosnia, Potiorek. It is said that the main inspirer and organiser of assassination was a member of the secret organisation Black Hand made up by a number of Serbian generals. The Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was already preparing for the Great War, which would soon become a large-scale world war, used this event to start the war in Serbia under the pretext of vengeance, where they mercilessly burned houses, killed civilians, women and children. The protagonist of out story also had such a destiny. Momčilo was lucky to survive. His father had sent him to get the oxen from his relative in the neighbouring village. When he returned, he found an appalling sight. The drunken bluecoat soldiers were singing the Austro-Hungarian anthem, his dear ones were dead and Momčilo's favorite calf was spinning on the spit under fire. The boy started to run away as far as possible. He was running aimlessly through the woods until he bumped into the Serbian Army platoon commanded by Major Tucović, the brother of well-known Dimitrije Tucović, who was a prominent theoretician and leader of the Socialist Movement in the Kingdom of Serbia, the founder of the Serbian Social Democratic Party and the editor of newspapers Radničke novine and Borba. It was a cruel time when children grew up faster than adults had a chance to grow old.
A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR
A few years ago, I came across a photo and a text about Momčilo Gavrić, a boy who participated in all the battles and calvary of the Great War, as the youngest Serbian soldier. I wondered how it was possible that I did not know anything about him and also what my generation had learned about the history of the World War I. According to my pseudo-memory, we all knew about Gavrilo Princip and the assassination in Sarajevo. It triggered the beginning of the war and we all know how it ended - with our victory. And that’s it! The story about how intelligence beat force, how a very clever military strategy of our generals saved the Army and defeated the great force, like David defeated Goliath, and saved the country and people, boiled down, for my generation, to a brief commonplace in the textbook of our history.
I was interested in the story of Momčilo Gavrić immediately, and two years later a coincidence happened: I was invited from Little Theatre Duško Radović to write a play on this topic. I accepted without any hesitation, following the famous rule that "the scriptwriter is always telling one story to tell another", for the already mentioned reasons incorporated in the moral of this play (Brain is better than brawn.). Through the cruel and moving story of a boy, told in the form of a school class and dramatic action, I have tried to tell the story of the Great War turmoil, the ordeal of Momčilo Gavrić and about everything I should have learned at his age.
We thank Svetlana Milovanović who authored the book The Destiny of a Little Corporal, as well as the National Theatre in Belgrade for its help in the creation of this play.