THE DEMOLITION OF THE EIFFEL TOWER
By Jeton Neziraj
The Demolition of the Eiffel Tower is not only a symbolic title but a cry of alarm. It is a text of great strength –devastating in its impact – that recounts with careful calibration in scene after scene, word after word, the secret thoughts, dynamics, relationships of a small group of terrorists who have landed in “the West,” in France.
~Andrea Porcheddu, gli statigenerali, Italy
The themes of physical love, nakedness, and Islam are intertwined. To all this, a comic ingredient is added: the building and subsequent collapse of a miniature Eiffel Tower made of matchsticks, a symbolic representation of a projected terrorist attack.
~Gilles Boulan, Le Billet des Auteurs de Théâtre, Paris
The Eiffel Tower is collapsing before our eyes. It is being demolished by the red, blue, green, and black sultans who are appearing everywhere . . . sultans who cannot hide the fact that they see themselves as subjects and the rest of us as no more than numbers.
~Albatros Rexhaj, Gazeta Tribuna, Pristina
A generalized fear of religious fanaticism, together with its symbols, is taking root in Europe. Neziraj explores ironically both the causes and the exacerbation of it, constructing a perfect dramaturgical machine that spares no one in the act of dismantling, piece by piece, not only stereotypes, misunderstandings, and prejudices with respect to Islam, but the myth of a “tolerant” Europe as well.
~Anna Maria Monteverdi, Hystrio, Italy
And, above all, love . . . is always hindered by “veils,” both real and metaphorical, which prevent us from clearly recognizing the object of our desire.
~Francesco Brusa, Altre Velocita, Italy
The Qendra Multimedia production of this play has been performed in many European countries, such as Italy, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Kosovo, Croatia, Romania, Albania, and Serbia.
We follow the unsettling story of a Frenchman abducted by two terrorists because he insists on removing burkas from the heads of Muslim women in Paris. But this present-day urban landscape is transected by a saga from the past: an otherworldly tale in which an Ottoman soldier, dispatched by the sultan, issues burkas to women of the recently conquered Balkans.
A Tower of Babel in which ancient languages and those that have never really been spoken and neologisms abide together, defining the ideal language in which to speak of the present. ~Mario Angelelli, Post In Platea, Italy
ABOUT JETON NEZIRAJ
His plays seem friendly and harmless at first. Often, they even tell fairy tales. For example, the tale of the old couple who accidentally eat their little son after he falls into a bean stew. No, the fairy tales of Jeton Neziraj are not suited for little children’s bedtime stories. In fact, his plays are not as charming as they seem. Fairy tales are often brutal, but reality can be even worse. At the heart of Jeton Neziraj’s work, are realistic dramas.
Wolfgang Kralicek, theatre critic, Vienna, from the introduction to Six Plays, by Jeton Neziraj
Jeton Neziraj is the former artistic director of The National Theater of Kosovo, and the founder and current director of Qendra Multimedia. He has written over twenty plays which have been staged, translated, and performed throughout Europe and the United States.