I've spent the last few minutes scraping mud off most of the left hand side of my body - victim of the potholes of Pristina as I made my way through wet snow (Welsh weather my hosts boast) from the National Theatre of Kosovo to Hotel Begolli.  I shouldn't only blame the Kosovan department of road upkeep (or the various armies that have attacked the streets of Pristina over the years), as a night spent sitting in Istanbul airport (where they do a damn fine breakfast at 3am GMT) probably hasn't improved my foot-eye co-ordination.  Still, the mud feels kind of good - there's a realness to landing in Pristina that has been washed out of many journeys.  Earlier, the arrivals hall of the airport seemed to be a re-conditioned aircraft hangar (memories of Coriolan/us) with a portrait of large bearded leader (that is, a large portrait of a large-looking leader, with a large beard) hanging significantly over the row of immigration guards that welcome us as we leave our Turkish Airlines plane standing lonely on the sleet-swept airport asphalt.  But the welcome is warm, from guards, from a driver with a van who turns out to be an economist, and soon from Jeton Neziraj, whose play I've come to see.  He tells me a story - the story of how the play was created in collaboration with the government to spread good governmental news - and how people have responded to the marketing and press stories boasting of this collaboration - which is of course a fiction, and part of the frame of the play. People have been upset, then amused, then the play has been banned and now unbanned.  Jeton had plans to take the audience to another town to see a clandestine performance, but now we will see it at the National Theatre after all...  I'm not sure how much of his story is part of the story.  What I know is that, however tentative the links between the imagining of nation in Wales, and the scars and arguments of this other nation-in-process might seem, nonetheless those links are real. Because as we try to figure the meaning of nation in Europe today - or even the meaninglessness of the term - the battered streets and brave games of our neighbours on another edge of Europe are part of our imaginative landscape. Jeton is writing a play about Wales.  I wonder if we should ban it...

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Comment by National Theatre Wales on December 7, 2012 at 0:09

Hi Carmen - it was a very good play - quite absurdist, but also a very funny satire on the relationship between governments and culture.

Comment by carmen medway-stephens on December 5, 2012 at 19:32

Sounds interesting John, whats the play about that's so controversial - i've written a play about Bosnia - a few years ago, needs a re-write, 

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