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SAD 3/2012

SAD 3/2012

Summary 3/2012

In the series “Philosophy and Icons”, South Park returns in Miroslav Petříček’s essay “Lewdness, Philosophy, Freedom”. The section “When It Fucks Everything Up…” includes an analysis by Ester Žantovská of the production A Blockage in the System at the Dejvické divadlo (“When Even God Does Not Care”) and an essay by Martin Porubjak about Tarzan Retired at the Husa na provázku theatre ("I Have Taken Pictures of Anything I've Seen!"). In the section “So, Dance!” Nina Vangeli introduces five young Czech choreographers and solo performers (“Young Woman of 2012”). In the opera section “To the Gulag Regally” Eliška Aguirre writes about Britten at the National Theatre (“Gloriana, the Bald Queen”) and Michaela Mojžišová about the joint production of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Rachmaninov’s Francesca da Rimini at the Theater an der Wien (“To the Gulag with Love”). The section “Games with Self-Censorship” communicates the results of the annual Alfréd Radok Awards for the best original Czech and Slovak Plays, a portrait of nine final texts (Jakub Škorpil: “History, Hysteria, Therapy, Fantasy) and Viliam Klimáček’s essay on the similar Slovak contest Dráma (“It's not that Bad Yet”). The section “From a Villain to Mafiosos” consists of three essays – Pavel Trenský: “Shakespeare’s Richard III (From Burbage to Spacey)”; Dana Silbiger-Sliuková: “Classic” (reviews of The Taming of the Shrew at the Royal Shakespeare Company and King Lear and The Cherry Orchard at the Tobacco Factory); Jan Šotkovský: “This is 1963, Revolution is Coming” (Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors directed by Nicholas Hytner). In the section “Journey to the Captors” Barbora Schnelle writes about Kriegenburg’s production of Winter’s Journey by Elfriede Jelinek (“Jelinek on an Icy Spring Meadow”) and Vojtěch Varyš about Pařízek’s production Faust 1–3 / FaustIn and out, combining Goethe and Jelinek at the Schauspielhaus Zürich (“Fritzl and Faust in Pařízek’s Cubicle”). The section “With Politicians All the Way to the End of World” comprises Natálie Preslová’s text (“Politics à la française”) on the productions Nervous Wreck René and Adagio (Mitterand, Mystery and Death), Eduard Drobílek’s essay Through Innovation Against Destruction of the World and Karel Král’s article “Everything is Grafted, Nitwits!”. The last one together with “political inquiries” by Karel Steigerwald and Tomáš Svoboda introduces a printed script of the political-satirical cabaret The Blonde Beast II – The Beast Strikes Back. In the Comedy Mix Stewart Lee (90’s Comedian) is coming back, and another instalment of Lucie Lomová’s comic strip Shooting Star is entitled The Investigation Begins. The traditional Kaleidoscope of Brief News All Around the World is included and readers will also find a bonus of The Dream or We Are All Resticidents by Vladimír Mikulka.

When Even God Does Not Care Ester Žantovská writes about the dramatization of short stories by the famous Scottish author Irvine Welsh, introduced under the title A Blockage in the System at the Dejvické divadlo. The young Slovak team (directed by Michal Vajdička, with literary management and dramatization by Daniel Majling) has created a production that brings out the great qualities of this theatre: an outstanding harmony between the actors, their comic gift, a sense of detail. In the confined space of a container-like prefab representing a dirty pub there is not only a couple of intellectuals but even God himself mixing in with barflies of both sexes standing for the economic and moral fringe of society. Impersonated by the star of the ensemble, Ivan Trojan, He is a disgusted, resigned old geezer fuming with rage who is not much better than His vulgar, violent and indifferent surroundings. At last He vents His anger  on the most insipid person of the play. The misery of life is described by the creative team  as a kind of comic "freak show". The production is basically a “theatre sitcom”, efficiently mixing (reasonably coarse) verbal and situation humour. Unlike the far more raw Welsh, here there are only flashes where we can grasp the real hopelessness of such existence and vain hope of changing anything. However, it is not an unconsidered joke – although depression originating in cold-shouldering, all permeating violence and most of all in indifference reveals itself only “subliminally”, it speaks with a distinct voice.

“I Have Taken Pictures of Anything I’ve Seen!” This quote by the now world famous Czech photographer Miroslav Tichý furnishes the title of Martin Porubjak’s essay. It is dedicated to the production Tarzan Retired, directed at the Husa na provázku theatre by Anna Petrželková. Tichý was the Tarzan of his hometown Kyjov. It was there he spent his time “doing virtually nothing” from the mid 1950s as an artist who had not finished his studies: with a homemade camera he snooped around the local life, particularly young girls at the municipal swimming pool. For the most part he left his photographs lying around on the floor where they were gnawed by mice. It could be said now that he lived independently under the toughest communist regime. He paid for this by being considered a local clown and sometimes ended up at the police station or lunatic asylum. Then the world discovered him as a photographer, although he did not understand it because he did not have any particular regard for his own pictures. At the theatre his life is shown in a space in which the foreground represents Tichý’s den and the rear – where scenes are set behind scratched plexiglass – faithfully evokes his photographs. Tichý himself looks here like a hairy, bearded little geezer; he laughs peculiarly and sticks out his tongue. Girls are afraid of him but they want to be photographed, three local studs – a policeman, the mayor and a swimming pool lifeguard – act as guardians of morality and at the end the stilted art experts arrive. And all of them steal his photographs… The director shows her empathy for funny outsiders, a sensitivity demonstrated by her casting the actress Ivana Hloužková in the title role. Her female identity is only discovered by the audience later in the play. They just register that she moves and talks like a man but not completely. Hloužková’s Tichý is the crown of a successful production.

The Blonde Beast The text of The Blonde Beast II – The Beast Strikes Back, staged this year at A studio Rubín of Prague, is published as a supplement to the issue. It is accompanied by interviews with Karel Steigerwald, the primary author of the team (“Our Mayor Creeps along the Ceiling”), and the director Tomáš Svoboda (“A Small Nitwit Will Have to Find His Own Cabaret”). Karel Král, who carried out both interviews, also wrote the essay “Everything is Grafted, Nitwits!”, which deals with a specific form of Czech documentary theatre. In 2005 it was inspired by the publication  of police recordings of conversations between football functionaries and referees who arranged results for bribes. The production of a cabaret character, created by Petr Čtvrtníček and entitled Ivan, My Chum, Can You Speak? or So Pull It Out, relied on quotes, characteristic by their childishly vulgar “secret” vocabulary (for example, a bribe was contained in the words “little carps”). Its success was enormous. In 2011 some audio recordings from the “life” of a political party Věci veřejné (Public Affairs) were published, when the party had succeeded for the first time in the parliamentary elections the year before. The lawsuit against its éminence grise Vít Bárta for bribing the party’s Members of Parliament was accompanied from the start by a recording from 2008 where Bárta – then the head of a security agency – outlined to the senior managers of the company his plan to infiltrate politics and acquire public commissions. At the same time a fresh recording emerged, where a very young leader of a parliamentary faction of the Public Affairs Party, Kristýna Kočí, exposed plans for an internal party coup. The recordings revealed both blatancy and vulgar naivety. A few days after the publication the cabaret-comedy production Little Kristin or The Blonde Beast was premièred at the A Studio Rubín. And again, its success was enormous. A sequel to this production came into existence during the trial of two members of the Public Affairs Party and to cap it off, at the same time new police recordings appeared in the media - between the former Mayor of Prague, Pavel Bém, and a “godfather” Roman Janoušek - which were similar to those from the footballing world. The so-called “Living Newspapers” returned to the Czech theatre in a humorous guise.

2014 - XXV. VOLUME



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