Inspired by the novel ‘Timbuktu’ by Paul Auster

The “Timbuktu” project is a theatrical experiment in which dogs play the main role on the stage, instead of human performers. The idea coming from a novel by Paul Auster bearing the same name, “Timbuktu” is meant for everyone from 11 to 77, with special emphasis on children and youth. However, instead of a fairy-like fiction, “Timbuktu” uses the strategies of a documentary theater, that is, it presents on stage elements directly taken from reality. Avoiding conventional theatrical narration, this peculiar performance offers an answer to the impossible question: what sort of world formulates the storytelling of one to whom speech is usually deprived? At the same time, the voice is metaphorically transferred to all the socially rejected; the persons living an invisible and silent existence outside of the social order. In this sense “Timbuktu” provides a therapeutic insight into how not to interpret democracy solely through our rights, but also through responsibility and solidarity toward others.

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Not all stories have happy endings. There are comedies but there are also tragedies. This is not either one. This is just one quite unusual love story, about the love of a homeless and his dog. And whereas the story itself may not end happily, the show offers a possibility of a completely new happy end – the possibility of adopting a dog.

Paul Auster wrote the novel Timbuktu in 1999. in America. Nine years later Montažstroj performance group is staging it in Croatia, transforming it thus from novel to monologue… a monologue for a dog on stage, spoken by an actor from the audience. Because dogs, at least in this world, can’t speak… yet. Nor in America nor in Croatia. Although maybe they’d like to. The main character of Auster’s novel Mr. Bones would certainly like to do so. That’s his wish #2 (you can only try and guess his wish #1… and, no, it’s not dog biscuits). So, although in the novel his wish stays unfulfilled, in this staging he does speak – indeed in this staging he becomes the main storyteller. Cause, although in Croatia and in America not everything is possible, in theater it most certainly is. Even that the dog speaks…
Mr. Bones speaks to us of his and his masters’ faith. Since his master is not in contact with any human beings, after he leaves this world Mr. Bones remains the only one that can tell us their story.