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SAD 6/2012

SAD 6/2012

Summary 6/2012

The series “Philosophy and Icons” continues with the essay “From Warhol to Matrix”, where Miroslav Petříček comments on his own translation of the essay “The Matrix: The Reality of the Unreal”. In the section “At Them, Boys, in Brno” Tereza Frýbertová, Ester Žantovská and Ervín Hodulik write about three politically loaded productions (all q.v.). In the section “Pácl Pácl Pácl…” (all q.v.) Josef Rubeš and Pavlína Pacáková deal with current productions by this gifted director. Another instalment of the so-called “theatre portraits” is “The Report on a Stable Theatre” by Martin J. Švejda, dedicated to the Činoherní klub of Prague. In the section “Circus Scared to Death” readers will find three essays about various circus productions. Vladimír Mikulka writes on La Vie by 7 Fingers and Risque Zéro by Compagnie Galapiat (“In Purgatory and under the Axe”). Jana Bohutínská (“Forman Brothers Brought Circus Performers In”) writes on Gramoulinophone by the company 2 Rien Merci, Respire! by Cie Circoncentrique and Era – A Sonnet for a Clown by Compagnie MagdaClan. And Karel Král (“Fear… – Joy and Other Perils”) writes – among other things – about Alegria by Cirque du Soleil, Slapstick Sonata by LaPutyka but also about a “drama circus”, the production Murmel, Murmel by the Volksbühne. In the section “Drama… and Life” Rita J. Sebestyén looks at performances by Hungarian language theatres in Romania (“New Languages”) and Zuzana Augustová (“Beautiful Winter Pelts”) on productions of new plays at the Burgtheater: Handke’s Die Schönen Tage von Aranjuez, Jelinek’s Winterreise and Die Froschfotzenlederfabrik  by Oliver Kluck. The section “The Don with Markets” brings reviews of Don Giovanni, directed in Prague by the drama tandem SKUTR (Aguirre: “Don Giovanni and Mozartean Myths”) and Der Ring des Nibelungen in Munich, directed by Andreas Kriegenburg (Šaldová: “Wagner is not only for the Advanced!). Michaela Mojžišová looks back at this year’s festival in Pesaro (“Recollections of a Summer with Rossini”) and Salzburger Festspiele (“Two Wars at the Opera Fair”). Karel Král deals with a phenomenon of documentary theatre based on "the sample” from this year’s Divadelná Nitra festival in his essay “Politicians Repent Only After They’ve Had a Stroke…”. The article reflects on more than ten European productions, from Open for Everything by the choreographer Constanza Macras to Anamnesis by the director Viktor Bodó. In the section “Jugo Wilson Goebbels” Daniël Bertina’s essay “Monumental Yet Human” considers Robert Wilson’s performance Life and Death of Marina Abramović about the famous Serbian performer, and Marek Lollok looks at When the Mountain Changed Its Clothing presented by Heiner Goebbels with the Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica. In the section “Three Kingdoms for Edinburgh” Dana Silbiger-Sliuková looks back at both the international and Fringe programmes of this year’s Edinburgh Festival (“Motion, Dance, Ballet, Circus…” and “The World is not Pink”) and Diana Damien writes about the London production of Stephens’ Three Kingdoms. The play of the issue is Neil LaBute’s In the Beginning, written for the initiative Theatre Uncut 2012. The playlet Feast of Puppets! by Vít Peřina is published within the framework of the “Comedy Mix”, and the next instalment of Lucie Lomová’s comic strip “Shooting Star” is entitled Nuthouse.

At Them, Boys, in Brno is a collection of essays about contemporary political theatre in the second largest Czech city. Tereza Frýbertová (“We Cut Potatoes with a Fork…”) reflects on The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, a variation on the eponymous movie by Luis Buñuel, directed at the Reduta by Jan Mikulášek. Fourteen scenes are performed around a festive table. Mourners are waiting for a funeral banquet and they stuff the deceased man, who is far from dying, into his coffin. When guests want food and drink they have to defecate on saucers and urinate into glasses. And so on. It is a Chaplinesque slapstick in form but at the same time hard-hitting and aimed at contemporary Czech society. The following essays are dedicated to two productions by Divadelo Feste and the director Jiří Honzírek. Ester Žantovská (“Buried Political Satire”) criticises the production of Roman Sikora’s drama Interment. The fiction is built on the pompousness of Klaus’s funeral which has to be twice as good as Havel’s at any price. Both the ceremony and its televised transmission turn gradually into chaos and in the end it turns out that somebody has stolen the coffin with the presidential remains and is offering them on eBay. The trouble with the production is not its non-correctness and rough satire, the really unforgivable thing is its lack of humour. Ervín Hodulik (“Life of Vandam”) reviews the production of Jaroslav Rudiš’s play Národní třída. It is about a generation that was born on housing estates and witnessed radical social change on the threshold of adulthood when the totalitarian regime was replaced with a wild form of capitalism. The main character is Vandam and his rebellion is limited by a suburban pub. He calls peace a worthless period between two wars and spreads his wisdom with his fists. But his present revolt is hypocritical: in 1989 he stood on Národní třída in the line of communist police during the action against protesters.

Pácl Pácl Pácl The thirty-year-old director Štěpán Pácl was twice (in 2008 and 2010) awarded Talent of the Year in the annual survey of theatre critics. However, his work presents a certain paradox: in spite of his youth, the older generation of critics appreciates his work more than his contemporaries do. Pácl’s work is characterised mostly by his thorough work with actors and his interpretation of texts, both of which are “functional” and “conservative” (he is clearly inspired by Otomar Krejča’s Divadlo za branou). He has a good rapport with his own company Masopust where he has staged texts of distinct lyrical or poetical qualities (Topol, Lagronová, Ibsen). However, his guest directing is not so successful and three of these guest productions are dealt with in Josef Rubeš’s essay “Where is Pácl’s Talent?”. Those qualities mentioned above seem to disappear here: Tartuffe in the Divadlo na Vinohradech, Bukowski’s Guests in the academic theatre DISK or Ivanov in the Moravian-Silesian National Theatre of Ostrava, have all quite surprisingly come with problems in his work with actors. It is as if Pácl has a problem in maintaining a homogeneity of style and expression outside the sphere of his regular collaborators and in giving the same focus to all characters. As a result the productions are unbalanced and also spoilt by superfluously complicated direction. The latest première of Pácl’s own company Masopust, Calderón’s El Príncipe Constante, is reviewed by Pavlína Pacáková in her essay “To Question the War”. In this case Pácl also relies on actors, particularly on Miloslav König in the main role, who succeeds in showing constituent phases of Prince Fernando’s journey in search of faith and self-sacrifice. The production works with basic materials (water, sand, wood…) and Pácl has succeeded in inventing several functional, symbolic shortcuts. Too bad for those useless updates, particularly overly transparent references to the engagement of the U.S.A. in the Middle East.

2014 - XXV. VOLUME



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