Alisa, Alice (Book)
'Alisa, Alice' is a humanely cruel and deeply moving drama, full of passion and desire. The clash of two cultures – two worlds – is described with psychological accuracy and depth. Alisa, a young Muslim refugee scarred by the Balkan war finds shelter with Magda, a representative of the common so-called civilised but self-destructive and self-loving western world. Magda, through the sadism arising from her despair and loss of purpose, her psychological confusion, causes the suicide of Alisa. Their relationship permeated as much with love as with hatred, is decanted through the dictatorship of language into a miraculous, irrational and mysterious atmosphere. In places, the style of the play is reminiscent of Pinter’s comedy of menace. The realistically based dramatic events are firmly grounded in a recognisable and actual contemporaneity. Poetic ambiguity facilitates universal interpretation, and here and there extends to the magical and surreal.
Lesley Wade is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter and Co-editor of Studies in Theatre and Performance. Previously she has translated and published three plays by Slovenia's leading contemporary playwright, who is also a director at the National theatre. She brings to this project a 34-year acquaintance with this small country and its concerns, and an acquired knowledge of its language.