Ferdinand Vanek Award 2017 > The Phantom of the Stadium > The Phantom of the Stadium - extract

The Phantom of the Stadium - extract

Karel: So let’s hope we survive the new year 1938 in good health.
Ján: Exactly so, Karel. I am sure it will be a period of excitement, joy, diligence, and great hopes for the future. On Strahov hill enormous buildings with dressing rooms and spacious stands for the audience were built, which are the envy of the entire world. Concrete, concrete, long live concrete!
Karel: If only the humankind would also live in concrete.
Ján: Let’s build more concrete bunkers and shelters to protect our homeland and perhaps we might live to see it.
Karel: The brand new Masaryk State Stadium is packed out with youth, pupils and teenagers, overflowing with frenzied energy. The winter gathering of Czech gymnastic organization Sokol is watched by thousands and thousands of spectators, listened to by radio listeners and unfortunately not a single TV set owner. But it is only because no TV set owners exist and there is no TV coverage yet. To tell the truth, I have no idea what I am talking about. We wish everybody a universal alertness and powerful arms while protecting the state flag and the Slavic linden tree.
Ján: You must have noticed that we are standing on a small ice rink, which was prepared for us by boys and girls from Sokol Královské Vinohrady.
Karel: The entire night the young people were pouring buckets of water onto this place, so that it would be as shiny as the eyes of Adina Mandlová in the movie Dressmaker, when she finds out that Hugo Haas has a child with another woman.
Ján: (Pause.) I really don’t know how to make a witty transition after this metaphor. Thanks. Hugo begins with the letter H, but do not be mistaken, we are not about to watch a hockey match, but a new sport discipline will be introduced – figure skating. Figure skating of ladies.
Karel: It is really so, we are living in revolutionary times, when women pulled their hands out of kitchen sinks and are doing sport just like real men. Figure skating has been presented at several previous Olympic Games, but it is its public premiere in Czechoslovakia.
Ján: And as the first one we welcome Bata shoe factory worker, 31-year-old Vera Brauman (Nobody comes.)
Karel: And I’ve read in the papers that because of sport the figure skaters shorten their skirts up to their ankles. Perhaps even more. I cannot wait to see it. Well, just imagine it – Vera Brauman, a sexy factory worker on skates frolicking around like a springy little devil. To make matters worse, a Jew. Bleah. Isn’t this a proof of the peaceful future of humanity? Vera Brauman. (Still nobody comes.)
Vera: (Finally runs into the stadium, scared, her hands covered in blood, everybody is in shock.) Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
Ján: If you are watching us in the cinema in black and white film weekly, I would like to note that the liquid on Vera’s hands is red of course.