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27 Neighbourhoods, News

STILL.Mrkopalj – An international virtual live performance

On Saturday 2 May, Hoge Fronten / Lieke Benders will present ‘STILL.Mrkopalj’ – a virtual performance that can be watched live by a maximum audience of 85 via an online platform. The online performance is part of the series of performances within the context of the ‘Mrkopalj, the best place ever’ project, which Hoge Fronten / Lieke Benders are developing on behalf of Cultura Nova and Rijeka 2020, European Capital of Culture.

The artistic team of Hoge Fronten / Lieke Benders is unable to work on the scheduled performances on location in Croatia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, their audience will imagine themselves to genuinely be in the heart of Mrkopalj, together with the artistic team (operating from their own homes) thanks to the previously recorded 360-degree video images.


On Saturday 2 May at 8:00 PM, the online audience will be received in a virtual space, where the creators of ‘STILL.Mrkopalj’ will be waiting for them. The introduction will give the visitors a taste of the theatre makers’ experiences in Mrkopalj, after which they will be taken on a virtual, theatrical tour of the village.

The little village of Mrkopalj is situated in a valley in the mountains of Croatia and consists of only a few streets. The village lives off winter sports tourism, but the snow does not come and therefore the tourists have also stayed away. We will take you along with us, as a tourist, and offer you a different view of Mrkopalj, away from the slopes. Look around, join us on a walk, and listen to the sounds and stories we collected. Find out why Mrkopalj is ‘the best place ever’.

After the virtual tour, the online visitors will gather in the virtual space once again, where they can share their experiences and meet one another. The introduction, the tour, and the after-tour discussion will be held in English. Visitors are invited to attend this première performance in festive attire and to pour themselves a nice drink to enjoy during the show.

Mrkopalj, the best place ever

On 24, 25, and 26 April 2020, various performances of Hoge Fronten / Lieke Benders were scheduled to take place in Mrkopalj, Croatia. Hoge Fronten is developing a theatre project within the context of Rijeka 2020, European Capital of Culture, on behalf of Cultura Nova and RIJEKA 2020. The project is being realised as part of Centriphery, a collaborative project by nine prestigious festivals and institutes in nine European countries.

In October 2019 and February 2020, Hoge Fronten’s artistic leader – Lieke Benders – visited Mrkopalj, Croatia, together with writer Saskia de Haas and sound designer Jolle Roelofs, as artists in residence. Joined by Croatian visual artist Tajči Čekada from Rijeka, they became acquainted with the inhabitants of the village and spoke with them about their history, their experiences, and their wishes for the village.

These residencies comprised the basis for three performances, all of which have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation prompted Hoge Fronten / Lieke Benders to develop a supplementary performance that can be experienced online by both Dutch and Croatian audiences.

More information about the residencies and the scheduled performances in Mrkopalj:

Hoge Fronten / Lieke Benders and STIL.

Theatre maker Lieke Benders has been exploring stillness in all its manifestations ever since 2017. Together with her team, she has been investigating the importance of stillness and reflection in an increasingly turbulent society during the four-year STILL.project. Her findings were shown at various venues in the Netherlands (including Cultura Nova) and Belgium. The STILL.project is still going strong, particularly in these times. Now, in the last year of this four-year project, no one could have imagined that the world itself would practically come to a standstill.

‘STILL.Mrkopalj’ is the result of a collaborative project Centriphery between international co-producers Festival Cultura Nova and RIJEKA 2020. The production is also made possible by Creative Europe, the Performing Arts Fund NL, the Province of Limburg, the Municipality of Maastricht, C-TAKT, Klooster Wittem, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Limburg, and the BankGiro Loterij Fonds.

02 May 2020 | 8:00 PM | Free online access after booking | English language
Book your virtual seat via
Visitors will receive an e-mail with further instructions on the day of the performance.
Maximum number of seats: 85
More information about Hoge Fronten / Lieke Benders: