The Conquest of Happiness

Haris Pasovic and Emma Jordan
Cornelius Macarthy, Thomas Steyaert, Patrick J O’Reilly, Saša Handžić, Dermott Hickson, Neil Martin, Rob McVey, Shane O'Neill, Mona Muratović, Damjana Černe, Zeljko Hrs, Matt Faris
Creative Team: 
Co-Directors: Haris Pašović & Emma Jordan, Writer: Damian Gorman Set & Lighting Designer: Ciaran Bagnall, Musical Director: Neil Martin, Choreography: Thomas Steyaert, Costume: OSHYOSH, Sound Designer/ Engineer: Enrico Fidone, Stage & Production Manager: Jen Shepherd, Technical Stage Manager: GianLuca Tomasella, Assistant Stage Manager: Monica McNally, Casting: Georgia Simpson, Filming: Bluebird Media, Graphic Designer: Enes Huseinčehajić, PR Manager: Laura Willis, Costume Maker: Lidija Inđić Kenović, Wardrobe Supervisor: Edina Bahtanović, PRODUCERS: Una NicEoin, Ismar Hadžiabdić, Uršula Cetinski, Tibor Mihelič Syed
20th September 2013
26th October 2013
Derry/Londonderry, Mostar, Sarajevo, Ljubljana, Belfast

“Remarkable...hugely ambitious, theatrically audacious...spine-tingling”
Culture Northern Ireland

“very innovative, thought provoking and challenging”
George Jackson, Irish Times


The Financial Times: Ian Shuttleworth
Bosnian director Haris Pasovic, whose work dwells on identity, division and tribalism, has found a fitting location for his first work to premiere in the British Isles, as part of the UK City of Culture programme that has revitalised Derry/Londonderry’s artistic sense of itself. Russell is played with fierce conviction by young Sierra Leonean-Briton Cornelius Macarthy.
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The Independent: Terry Blain
Using a combination of drama, dance, video projection, and music, Pašović visits nine of the world’s most turbulent trouble-spots, re-enacting key moments in their troubled history. These interjections work, partly because Russell’s words are inherently so persuasive, partly because actor Cornelius Macarthy delivers them with a bite and venom which seems, momentarily at least, unanswerable.

He’s supported by an impressively multi-tasking cast, scuttling among the circle of military vehicles and scaffolded conning towers which define the performing area. The use of violence is measured and proportionate. The nauseatingly stylised rape of a Muslim woman by Bosnian soldiers is one enduring image. A truckload of young Jews (played by local Derry children) being carted away for gassing is another.
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Culture NI : Jane Coyle

The highly respected Bosnian director Haris Pasovic and his co-creator Emma Jordan have pinpointed nine remembrance day scenarios, fearlessly evoking a string of atrocities from recent times while exposing the political corruption and human greed lurking behind their provenance. Its course is plotted by a glorious, eastern European-flavoured instrumental and choral score, played live by composer Neil Martin on cello and uilleann pipes, and Rod McVey on saxophone and piano. Belgian actor/choreographer Thomas Steyaert is brilliantly convincing as the Chilean musician, poet and political activist Victor Jara.
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Belfast Telegraph

The action takes place within an open-air arena, demarcated by military vehicles, and raked by searchlights located in towers of scaffolding. State oppression, greed for money, and violence perpetrated upon the average citizen are recurring themes. They are graphically articulated by a team of actors skilled in the tactics of stark physical theatre, which Pašović uses to pummel home the brutal actuality of the horrors perpetrated by human beings on one another over the past seven decades. Neil Martin's evocative musical montage adds substantially to the cumulative impact, and local children make a moving contribution in the section devoted to Auschwitz. A deeply sobering piece of theatre, to be repeated in a month's time at the Belfast Festival.

Si’s Sights and Sounds Blogspot

The show has barely begun, and the production team have already made a greater impact on our senses than most, if not all, cultural productions this year….
One realises that this sobering, immersive and interactive experience has amounted to much more than just about anyone could have expected it to – a unforgettable theatrical triumph of epic proportions.
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