Thursday, 22nd February 2018
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2008
Lamp Lighters Productions

Zoo Southside
117 Nicolson Street
Edinburgh EH8 9ER

0131 662 6892

Date: Aug 4 – 5, 11 – 12, 18 – 19, 25
Time: 18:00
Ticket: £7.00 (£5.00)

Also at the Laughing Horse
Aug 11 – 16

In this darkly comedic solo show, Elona wants to know her estranged Balkan family. But when she discovers they have a ritual she may not be able to accept, she realises that having family might not be that great.


“Her story–telling is competent and often evocative. A fine actress.”, David Pollock, The Scotsman, 08 August 2008

Canadian Balkan girl consumed by finding her family

LampLighters Productions from Toronto in Canada present this, the world premier of a piece written by and starring Irena Huljak.

A one–woman show, Huljak plays Elona, a young woman brought up in Canada by her mysterious mother, who is cold to Elona, but warm to the rest of the world. The main action described is a trip ‘home’ to the motherland, which is never named, merely described as being in the Balkans. One there, Elona discovers the strange rituals of her remote family, rituals that bind them together.

The action is all described from Elona’s point of view. A five character version is being developed.

“CLEARLY an actress of some facility, young Canadian–Croat Irena Huljak is working with her own material, a one–woman monologue. Her story–telling is competent and often evocative. A fine actress.”

David Pollock, The Scotsman, 08 August 2008
Irena Huljak

Irena – Actor/Writer – graduated from York University’s four year Acting Program. She studied at L.A.M.D.A. and London’s National Theatre summer programs. In 2004, she wrote and produced her first short film “Bear”, and is presently working on her second short film “Starry Starry Night”. She has played Lead Woman in “Lysistrata”, “Midsummer’s Night Dream”, Mercutio in “Romeo and Juliet”, Charlotte and Sherry in “Lion in the Streets”, and Beatrice in “The Changeling”. She has worked with Patsy Rodenburg and Taborah Johnson. Please check out her website at

Playwrights notes
I have always believed that everyone needs family whatever form it takes, as it gives us a sense of belonging. Living in the “Me” generation today, individuality is admired to the extend that we belong more to our work then to our family. Emptiness has also managed to seep its way into our lives. So many of us try to fill this void by consumption – be it food, shopping or drugs etc. Two years ago, I stumbled upon an article about a small tribe in Papua New Guinea. The women of this particular tribe would come together to consume curious meat in order to strengthen their bond with each other. This ritual brought them closer together. The subject fascinated me. For these women, consumption was a positive ritual. And thus Summoned was born.

Lindi g. Papoff

Lindi lives in Israel and Canada, working in professional theatre as a Director, Dramaturg and Production/Stage Manager. Her Directing credits include: “Peter Pan” the Musical, Michel Tremblay’s “Albertine in Five Times”; “Tomorrow’s Time” in which she also wrote; “girl in the closet” by Dolly Reisman; “Kicking Inside” by Michael Gibson, and Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata”.

On her journey, she has worked with such creative luminaries as Sir Ian McKellen, Steven Berkoff, Yaakov Raz, Michal Govrin, Bob Dylan and opera director David Alden. Indin is also founding Artistic Director of Tomorrow’s Eve Theatre in Toronto, and Laila Acher Feminist Arab Jewish Theatre in Haifa, Israel.


“Check out Irena Huljak. A very talented actor”, Craig Cy– Toronto actor

From Jeremy Lalondes top 10 list 2008

The Starry Starry Night

Speaking of Van Gogh, the short film I’m (fingers crossed) directing this spring is inspired, at least in name, by a painting of his. Right before the Christmas break I submitted an application to Bravo so hopefully they’ll like it enough to work with us again. I’ve got my usual fantastic crew and this time around in front of the camera will be Jane Moffat, a veteran of Canadian television and stage, and the young and talented Miriam McDonald known best for her work on ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’.

The best part about putting together the Bravo application is that it forces you to really start thinking about your film in a practical way and that’s made me ridiculously excited to make this film, the script (written by Ms. Irena Huljak) is loaded with lots of wonderful things. It’s been a long time since I’ve tackled something that’s more of a straight drama so I’m looking forward to flexing those muscles. There will be more on this to come in the upcoming months as I meet with my production people and do some more preliminary work while waiting on word about funding.


ThreeWeeks – Francesca Cookney

Have you ever walked out of a theatre wondering what the hell just happened? No? Well, now you can. ‘Summoned’ is a one–woman show which tells of a girl’s first visit back to her Balkan motherland. The writing is reasonable and darkly comic in places, and Irena Huljak’s performance is confident, but the subject matter doesn’t at first seem like something that would have you gripped. Slowly, the story unfolds and you find yourself sucked in regardless of the standard of acting and the quality of writing. Then, as things get weirder, you find yourself thinking “where on earth can this possibly be going?” Well, of course, I can’t tell you that but then, I’m still not sure that I know.


First of all , Welcome to LampLighters blog page for the production of Summoned. It’s very exciting to me to be at this stage of this project. lindi and I have work shopped Summoned in august 2007. Edinburgh is another stage of development. Its been a stressful and invaluable experience. I could never be at this stage without going to Edinburgh. Now the next stage of development will begin.

I have always believed that the script you start with is not the script you workshop with, and it’s not the script you’re finally put up. To quote my friend Jeremy Lalonde “Things happen”. And to quote Woody Allen, “A fresh truck of compromises shows up every day.” I believe that every moment changes. We all are , especially in live theatre, dealing with things that we want but don’t get ( ie. props , people, audiences, ticket sells and reviews.) It’s an exhausting task to make a production but the most important thing is to remember that we are all telling stories.That is fundamental for me. What is the story inside of you and you and you and now me? My story brought me here to Scotland. It will keep me going for the next three weeks. But afterwards, this story will take carry me on for several years. I got to meet a lovely woman while i was here by the of Vayu Naidu who runs her own theatre company called Vayu Naidu Company and is at Club West with her shows. She is a true story teller. She reminded me that stories have a life of their one. Each time we tell our stories they are a bit different and if we try to hold on too tightly to our stories and own them , not letting them breath, they will die.

So this is my journey... to breath.
I hope you can come along with lindi and I on this journey.

I would love to hear from you and any thoughts if you saw the play, read the play or just following this tale.

Irena Huljak and lindi g. papoff

Grant letters
Four grant letters for Summoned have been sent in. I have 3 more to do. Also i need to apply for the Toronto fringe Festival this year and also the Summerworks festival.
My first fundraiser for this show took place on new Years at i went really well. However i need to do several more. Our budget is pretty high and there is lots to do to make it therew

Lots of stuff

Entry: 10. Posted on: 2009-01-08

The Blue Room
This is another project i am working on but i have decided to blog a bit of it as well here on this site.

The Blue is a play written by David Hare ( to which i am an enormous fame of). Ron Leach and myself are in the process of putting together a small budget for this two hander. I am extremely excited to work with him . He loves this play as much as i do and i know it will be a great success when it goes up in the new year ( 2009).

I suspect it will be note quite well in Now Magazine. You read it here first guys. :)


Entry: 9. Posted on: 2008-11-27

we are now currently applying for the Creators Reserve Grant
These are some of the ideas we are working with.

My partner : lindi g.papoff and i are in the mdst decussion as to which theatre company will best suite us.
I have also been interested in possible tell Summoned mainly through dance or extreme movement

You may have already read about our intent for Summoned . If not the following is a clearer idea as to what we are about.

I truly believe we will get this grant. However, i 'll keep you posted.


The goal of Lamp Lighters is to shine new light and present fresh perspectives on issues of human existence through original theatrical productions. Lamp Lighters seeks to create a sense of community through the performing arts, making it accessible to avid theatre-goers, newcomers and those who wouldn’t expect to find themselves in a theatre seat at all.

Having always believed that everyone needs family, in whatever form it takes, giving us a sense of belonging – I find myself at odds with living in a society where individuality and personal gain takes precedence over community, and is admired to the extent that we belong more to our jobs than to our families. Emptiness has seeped its way into our lives, and though it may be unspoken, we actively try to fill this void through consumption - be it food, alcohol, drugs or other commodities.

Two years ago, we stumbled upon an article about a small tribe in Papua New Guinea – Fore. It is a matrilineal tribe, and the women, as leaders of this particular tribe would come together to consume a curious meat in order to strengthen their bond with each other. This ritual brought them closer together – or so they believed. The subject fascinated me. For these women, consumption was a positive ritual. More recently - this consumption has also been linked with the beginnings of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE for and thus “Summoned” was born.

Our first step in story development was in creating a mostly narrative one-person script version, which was performed orally at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and well received. Now knowing the journey of these characters, we would like to transfer the story from being told orally to visually ( i.e. from spoke to moved).

From our original vision using text, we would like now to able to build a five-character movement piece: Elona, a girl in her late teens; Rune, Elona’s estranged mother in her forties; Lila, Elona’s free spirited Aunt in her mid- forties, whom Elona has never met; Luba, Elona’s grandmother and Rune and Lila’s mother in her late seventies; and Boris a baker and neighbour to Luba in his late twenties. Elona and Rune begin in North America, while the others live on a farm outside a rather secluded small town in “the old country”, a non-specific but recognizable eastern European country.

The present (and original) intent for this Creators’ Reserve grant is to develop the current piece into a 5-character adaptation, and break out of the narrative style , thus creating a solid first draft of a new piece using gesture and body motion.


Irena Huljak and lindi g. papoff

Entry: 8. Posted on: 2008-11-27

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