Gavella to Become Zagreb’s West End

Total Croatia News

One of Zagreb’s most famous and successful theatres is getting renovated.

The construction works are planned to be finished in 10 months. During that time, the audience will have to enter the theatre from the courtyard at Frankopanska 8. The ‘Mamut scene’ is also planned to be revived.

For more than ten years, the Gavella city theatre has been waiting for a new, smaller hall to hold more intimate performances, reports Več on November 17, 2017. This is the first hall to be built within the existing theatre in the past few decades, claims director of Gavella Theatre Boris Svrtan. The start of the construction was marked by the groundbreaking ceremony with Zagreb Mayor making the first dig on Thursday, November 16. The construction should be completed in a year, but the mayor stressed that it will be shortened for two months.

Flooding issues

The City of Zagreb will invest ten million kunas in the reconstruction, said Bandić, adding that everything will be renovated except the main theatre hall. “The works started just in time, the situation was becoming pretty unbearable. Besides the atrium, where Gavella’s other scene – Scena 121- is located, and for which a new hall will be built, other rooms and adjacent spaces have been affected by the flooding issues,” said Svrtan.

The theatre will continue to work normally for the duration of the reconstruction works, only the main entrance will be relocated to the backyard at Frankopanska 8, which is regularly used by the actors. The ticket office will also be set there, working from November 21 when the play “Re-unification of the Two Koreas” is scheduled.

“Due to the ongoing reconstruction, the visitors will also be able to peek behind the scenes of the theatre, and access the backyard thanks to the deal made with Mary Rašan-Križanac, the director of the Hotel and Tourism School, with whom we share the backyard. The guests will go through the Scena Mamut, which has not been in operation for a long time, but which we plan to revive with new plays and performances,” Svrtan said. Not only will the program not “suffer”, he added, but it will be upgraded. This season, they are preparing five premieres, the first of which is Shakespeare’s historical drama “King Richard III”, set by Aleksandar Popovski and scheduled for December 15th.  

New hall and more seats

After the new hall is finished, the theatre will have the total of three halls and 500 seats, each with a different programme of plays for all types of audience. “The plays will be performed simultaneously on all stages. We’ll have a total of 500 seats.  At Scena 121, we plan to put on shows in English which will be primarily intended for tourists. The first piece which will be adapted into English will be “Tesla Anonimus”. When the reconstruction is over, Gavella will become the West End of Zagreb,” Svrtan said.

The new theatre hall was designed by Studio A, whose team is responsible for the design of the Zagreb Puppet Theater. “Telescopic (retractable) seating is planned to be set up in combination with the removable floor seating,” said Nenad Kondža, director of Studio A.

This is the fourth reconstruction, as Svrtan pointed out, since the theatre opened in 1953, where a cinema used to be. It was founded by a group of young actors and directors, mostly “rebels” from the Croatian National Theater, led by Branko Gavella, who was a theatre director, theatre manager, educator, theatrologist, critic and translator.


Translated from Več



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