Co-Production between the Serbian National Theatre and Centre for the Development of Visual Culture, Novi Sad Dejan Dukovski

The Last Balkan Vampire

Director Aleksandar Popovski

PREMIÈRE 17.5.2023.

By the Author

Under a blue moon without love or death
I first came across vampires as a motif from this part of the world back in 1980s when I was still a student which was when I wrote a text under the title of The Last Balkan Vampire. Ever since then I have wanted to turn it into a production together with Aleksandar Popovski. And the moment to do it has finally arrived. The only thing that remains from the original text are the motif and the title and I wrote this play as an attempt to examine the vampires of this day and age from several different angles….

My idea was simple – to write a funny and entertaining piece based on the Balkan folklore, myths, legends and superstitions in a manner of non-existent and somewhat absurd Turlitava dramaturgy – with singing and biting.

Nowadays it would be hard to find a mirror that would not produce a reflection of ourselves as vampires. The play is not a diagnosis of being this kind of vampire nor does it seek to discover parallel metaphors with vampires, demons or evil spirits of the times we live in, but I hope it touches a nerve of this day and age and the subconscious and pagan fears and basic instincts we have to grapple with.

Dejan Dukovski


By the Director

Vampires are a local species
When I first directed a production on the topic of Dracula and vampires, the fates guided me to a man who was born in the same place as Vlad the Impaler, also known as Dracula. This man showed me a portrait of Vlad the Impaler and he proudly showed me his own portrait. It was one and the same person. So I asked him to tell me everything he knew about vampires. The man flew off the handle, started insulting me, telling me I was an ignorant fool, that there were never any vampires in Romania and that Vlad was a great ruler and a great man. Later on I discovered that he was, in fact, right. There were no vampires in Romanian mythology and that vampires only became associated with Romania thanks to Bram Stoker who changed the initial title of his novel from Count Wampyr,  to Count Dracula  thanks to some documents he came across that mentioned Vlad the Impaler.

But…We have vampires too! The tri-border area between Macedonia, Serbia and Bulgaria has many myths and legends about vampires. But our vampires deviate somewhat from the standard.  They sing and dance on the roofs, shit down the chimneys and sleep with the cattle… In the writings of Marko Cepenkov, there is a story about a famous vampire hunter from the town of Prilep. His name was Kurta and the legend says that he was fathered by a vampire.

Dejan Dukovski wrote his first text about Kurta while he was still a student.

And in this day and age which is “out of joint”, we often hear that something has become undead. That people do not sleep any more and that fear and restlessness reign supreme. And , as it often happens, every illness has a cure. Kurta!

So we agreed to bring the legendary hero back to life and let him battle it out with the vampires that surround us.

Aleksandar Popovski

Painting on set by kind permission of painter Marko Milović

Photos taken at the Spitzer Castle in Beočin



Photo: Marija Erdelji
Photo: Marija Erdelji
Photo: Marija Erdelji
Photo: Marija Erdelji
Photo: Marija Erdelji
Photo: Marija Erdelji
Photo: Marija Erdelji
Photo: Marija Erdelji
Photo: Marija Erdelji