Pedalo by Nenad Velickovic

Two couples from Sarajevoare spending their holiday on the Croatian coast. The war in Bosnia is now part of the past, but the bombing ofSerbiastill lingers. One morning, they hire a pedal boat and venture away from the coast line. Something breaks and the pedal boat floats towards the open sea. The emptiness ahead transforms them, bringing out selfishness, aggression, fear of death, desire to control,  betrayal and the incapability for love… the war is again present but without a uniform, its tentacles reaching out to strangle humanity.

Premiered at Blue Elephant Theatre in London as part of Balkan Arts Season.


David Haworth
Alan Marni
Evie Dawnay
Gaby Crewe-Read
Creative team:
Set & Costume designer: Mamoru Iriguchi
Sound designer: Daniel Biro
Video designer: Mamoru Iriguchi
Producer: Blue Elephant Theatre


Mike Leigh clearly floats writer Nenad Velickovic’s boat – his nouveau-riche Sarajevans are festooned in leopard skin bikinis, Hawaiian shirts, and repressed resentments. As desperation on the pedalo sets in, we drift into ‘Lord of the Flies’ waters as the quarter manoeuvres within the pedalo’s microstate.  (Time Out, Benjamin Davis)

During the latter half of the play I felt too many themes were crammed into the dialogue including: betrayal, hope, loss and power, and this threatened to overwhelm the pure atmospheric potency of the piece. However, the strong performance managed to keep the piece rooted where its success lies: the simple horror of isolation and abandonment. At the end the plot takes a final ironic twist with a genuinely explosive ending. (Southwark Weekender, Tan Parsons)