Ferdinand Vanek Award 2017 > The Politics of Groundsman’s Room

The Politics of Groundsman’s Room


A diversionary monodrama about restoration practice


In the Groundsman’s room of a sports club the Groundsman is handing over the job to his successor, he is making coffee and talking to him. We do not see the successor, because he is standing behind a big board that hides him from the sight of the audience.
While verbally describing individual items of the Groundsman’s practice, the Groundsman is superscribing envelopes with the names of female writers of bestsellers and throwing them into a post box on the wall. He is also making radio announcements, moving around on a chair with wheels between the door (where he deals with various requirements and transgressions of the sportsmen)and the window, from which he observes with binoculars the sports club official Chudava, who is digging probes in the ground in order to find the club’s lost flag, which disappeared during the Protectorate.
During Groundsman’s speech it turns out that since certain breaking point, caused by the incessant destruction of the sports grounds by both sportsmen and spectators (“idiots” and “apathetic persons”), his ambition has been to stop the sport activities and to return the sports grounds back to the womb of wilderness. This regressive process is initiated also by Postman (regularly picking up the post) who calls it penance.  
It turns out, however, that the main reason for Groundsman’s tendency for destruction is something far more serious. In the final scene he reveals that he had found the flag of the club (the one Chudava is looking for)a while ago and to his horror realized that it is an ice hockey flag, not a football club one. This crucial fact, as Groundsman notes, has never been noticed nor reflected in the history of the club. He infers that the world is thus flooded with creatures who are absolutely unable of distinction (football or ice hockey makes no difference to them). He writes about his discovery to the female writers of the bestsellers all around the world, because he is persuaded that they might effectively warn other women responsible for the reproduction of such creatures.
He then proceeds to a microphone and it becomes clear from his last announcement that he has managed to start the regressive process by a chain of intrigues. The sports grounds are covered with the rudiments of the understory of shrubs.
Such sports grounds do not need a Groundsman, announces Groundsman behind the board, which he moves away and thus reveals the fact that there is no novice drinking his coffee, but there is dramatist Molière, whose dramas The Misanthrope and The Miser the Groundsman considers as the only useful manuals for his work, crucified on a cross. When the Groundsman changes his clothes for a postman’s uniform, picks up the post, and leaves, the crucified Molière blows a referee’s whistle and by dropping his decorated baton finishes the play.