The Dark Ages

Milo Rau / Residenztheater / IIPM

The Dark Ages

© Marc Stephan

What are the foundations of the Europe we live in today? In The Dark Ages, Milo Rau continues the work he began with his previous production The Civil Wars (about revolt and political commitment in Europe). Now he takes on the conflicts that have torn Eastern Europe apart, from the end of the Third Reich to the Yugoslav wars. The play builds on the true life stories of five actors from Germany, Russia, Bosnia and Serbia: marked by war and the loss of roots, their existential crises coincide with massive ideological and political upheavals. Manfred Zapatka and Valery Tscheplanowa lived in post-war Germany; Vedrana Seksan survived the siege of Sarajevo; Sanja Mitrović danced all night while the UN bombed Belgrade, and Sudbin Musić survived massacres and concentration camps. Mythic Shakespearean figures (like Hamlet) appear in the midst of these powerful stories that question the existence of evil and the possibility of justice. The Dark Ages is a veritable political psychoanalysis. Its structural formality is shot through with the Wagnerian violence of the music of Laibach, the Slovenian avant-garde band (whose lyrics express a very critical view of European integration). An archaeological dig into the statements and ideas that have shaped European memories, The Dark Ages is a play about how we write history and what the “big stories” have made of us.


Marion Siéfert

4-7 February 2016

In German, Bosnian and Serbian, with French subtitles.

Conceived, written and directed by

Milo Rau

Devised with the Cast

Sanja Mitrović, Sudbin Musić, Vedrana Seksan, Valery Tscheplanowa, Manfred Zapatka


Stefan Bläske, Sebastian Huber

Set and Costumes

Anton Lukas

Live filming and Video Design

Marc Stephan




Marija Karaklajić


Stefan Bläske, Mirjam Knapp

Performance times

Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8:30pm, Sunday at 3:30pm

Running time

2 hours


Grande salle

Premiere 11 April 2015 at Residenztheater, Munich, Germany.