Yuval Noah Harari is a historian, philosopher, and the bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. A lecturer at the Department of History, the Hebrew university of Jerusalem, has sold over 23 million books worldwide, what makes him one of the world’s bestselling authors of the last few years. His latest world-wide popularity has leaked also onto the stage of Cankarjev dom – CD Cultural and Congress Centre Ljubljana. The magnificent Cankarjev dom’s Gallus Hall has been since late January a venue for the Slovenian theatre spectacle of the year – a performance with an apropriate name ‘2020’, based on Harari’s works.
The ‘2020’ project intertwines Harari’s all-encompassing interpretation of our fragmented times. Prof. Harari’s current research focuses on macro-historical questions such as: What is the relationship between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded? What ethical questions do science and technology raise in the 21st Century? All of these questions are artistically depicted in a complex approach in the ‘2020’ theatre production in Cankarjev dom – CD Cultural and Congress Centre Ljubljana.
Focusing on human evolution and fate, the performance ‘2020’ makes Harari’s thoughts to build up dialogues, monologues, dance and music scenes that take the form of a scientific vaudeville. Directed by internationally acclaimed director Ivica Buljan and co-produced by Cankarjev dom, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana and Ljubljana City Theatre, ‘2020’ impresses with its concept. Ivica Buljan, the director, succeeded in creating »an intelligent, fun and educational artistic work on evolution, universe and our place in it.«
Performance, however, would not have been as memorable and spectacular without the Gallus Hall’s stage which greatly contributes to ‘2020’s’ character with stages being elevated up and down in three different segments, with a rotating stage, with performers flying above the stage and similar. All this is possible due to the stage with a proscenium where the basic stage consits of three equal segments that can be moved independently of one another. In addition, there is a 17 m diameter revolving stage below the stage base, which offers many alterantives. The tree stage layers can be lowered together or individually to the level of the base stage, with a maximum lifting or lowering speed of 0.25m/s.
The operating of the stage technology is based on hydraulics, planned and executed by the English manufacturer Tele Stage Associates. Stage surface area as a whole provides incredible 324 square meters that together with the wealth of technical resources enables the execution of this very demanding performance which any congress or business guest to Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana and its main congress venue can watch until mid-February and then again from 7 April on.