Kosovo Serbs to stage musical about strongman Milosevic



A Serbian theatre group in Kosovo is set to stage a musical about the life of Serbia's late 1990s strongman Slobodan Milosevic and his influential wife.

The "Slobodan Show" is due to open in February in Gracanica, a large ethnic Serb enclave in central Kosovo. The country of 1.8 million people is predominantly ethnic Albanian.

"The rehearsals will begin in mid-January and the opening night is expected in February," the composer for the "Slobodan Show", Marko Grubic, told AFP on Tuesday.

Slobodan Milosevic ruled Serbia with an iron fist through the 1990s wars in the Balkans as Yugoslavia fell apart, including the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict.

The war saw Kosovo's pro-independence ethnic Albanian rebels fight Milosevic-controlled Serbian forces, who were eventually forced out of the breakaway territory after a three-month NATO bombing campaign.

Milosevic, who was ousted in a popular uprising in October 2000, died in 2006 at the age 64 in his cell in the Hague, where he was on trial for war crimes.

His widow Mira Markovic, who led her own political party and was dubbed the "Lady Macbeth of the Balkans", has found refuge in Russia since 2003 following corruption charges in Serbia.

"Slobodan and Mira were an inseparable couple at the top of the state at a crucial moment, the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the redefinition of the world," Jelena Bogavac, who wrote the text for the musical, told Serbia media.

All the actors are members of a Serb-run theatre in Gracanica, where they moved from Kosovo's capital Pristina after the war.

The conflict claimed 13,000 lives, mostly ethnic Albanian.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a move that Belgrade does not recognise.


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