As has already happened in the past, today we’re experiencing anti-democratic forces being legitimized by democratic means once again, acquiring media and real spaces to present themselves and making their views socially acceptable. Then, quite legally, they can overthrow democracy and demand an authoritarian dictatorship. Not only in Poland or Hungary, but also in Germany. At the Gorki, Frljić wants to follow the logic of politics in order to question the theatre. But only to show the anti-matter of representation: if representative democracy allows fascisoid parties to enter the parliament, then we have to rethink the democratic system. On the 150th birthday of Maxim Gorki, Frljić tries to figure out whether Gorki can help the GORKI understand the Alternative for Germany. And whether the Alternative für Deutschland can help in understanding the GORKI. Or the other way around? What is democracy worth, if its opponents can put on a big display on its premises? What is theatre worth, if its opponents cannot put on a display on its premises?




OLIVER FRLJIĆ was born in 1976 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He studied Philosophy, Religious Studies and Directing in Croatia and works as a director, author, actor and theorist around Europe. His productions have garnered him several awards and invitations to international festivals, including the Wiener Festwochen for his 2010 production Mrzim istinu! (Ich hasse die Wahrheit!), and the Heidelberger Stückemarkt new play festival for Black Box Schule, developed at Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf. From 2014-2016 he served as the artistic director of the Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka. In early 2016 he announced that he was resigning out of protest against Croatian cultural policy. Oliver Frljić is part of a Szenen-Wechsel project (Change of Scene, a Robert Bosch Foundation programme) with the HAU Hebbel am Ufer. In June 2017 Frljić came to the Maxim Gorki Theatre with his production Der Fluch - Klątwa - The Curse, based on Stanisław Wyspiański, as a guest performance. The production's premiere at Teatr Powszechny ignited a political scandal and attracted attention on an international level. In 2018 Frljić worked together with the Gorki's ensemble for the first time. With Gorki - Alternative für Deutschland? Frljić follows the logic of politics to question the theatre and rethink the democratic system.



In Berlin Gorki Theatre, Oliver Frljić dissolves AFD - a right-wing populist and Eurosceptic political party.  The direction is eerie: it explains that culture workers of the left-wing are self-obsessed while the right-wing pollutes the air. That, however, cannot be the last word, especially not in one of the most relevant political theatres in the country.

Peter Laudenbach , Suddeutsche Zeitung 


In comparison with how distressed literary circles were because of the Tellkamp case (right-wing German literary author) or because of the fact that right-wing radicals can participate at the book fair, what happened on the stage of Gorki theatre last Thursday can be considered a friendly speech. And not only friendly, but cheerful. There is sarcasm - at the end of the ninety-minute-long performance, the actor Falilou Seck keeps shouting at the audience, with a hint of helplessness and despair: Are fascists people!'

Doris Meierhenrich, Berliner Zeitung 


Gorki - Alternative for Germany? has been made in a more refined and, due to an emphasized self-irony, more interesting manner... Frljić consciously uses life contexts that are typical and identical to the ones that the protagonists who are employed there have, using not documentary approach but a snappy, stereotypical one, characteristic of Gorki Theatre.

Christine Wahl, Der Tagesspiegel