Ferdinand Vanek Award 2015 > Strange Times, Strange Love, Strange Lives
Viliam Klimáček

Strange Times, Strange Love, Strange Lives

Viliam Klimáček
(three little plays with two songs and one crucifixion)

(Divná doba, divná láska, divné životy)

2m, 2w

     How is a playwright suppose to react to a wave of violence and xenophobia which flooded the world in 2015?
While a cursor is still blinking, a play has already lost its topicality. What can we do when reality is faster and crueler than we are? 
     One reason for this „triple-play" to exist is that I refuse to go insane because of all that.

Play number one: STRANGE TIMES - a clip montage of short fragments. Spams from Ivory Coast, written in a bad grammar, announce that we inherited a million. Man dresses up as a woman so that his son can have a mother. Conspiration above the title page of the Economist magazine. A frustrated woman from multinational corporation ventilates her misery in xenophobic emails. Conspiration above the Gardener magazine. Man with his friends secretly practices combat in forrest to protect his country. Grandma nostalgically recollects socialism and the vacation at Lake Balaton, while her grandson is bored; tomorrow he is going to Paris again. EU wants to clone one historical figure who will lead us out of the crisis. Each EU member state holds referendum on that. Which genius will save us?  

Play number two: STRANGE LOVE - minidrama in a Chekhovian style:
     Anna is a conductor, Natalie plays the double bass. During the meeting by the samovar it is revealed that Natalie has already took two instruments to the pawn shop and she plays just "on" her mouth.
     She uses money to buy vodka for her husband so that he wouldn´t beat her and love her instead. They want to fire her from the orchestra, but a czarist official sticks up for her since she is a cousin of his wife. The author enters this retro story and talks about Russian attack on Ukraine and his acquaintances who believe in Putin´s internet propaganda, as well as about his helplessness and inability to influence the world through his writing. But at least in this play the author is God - he makes sure that the third double bass for Natalia is bought. How scandalous - that could never happen in St. Petersburg!

Play number three: STRANGE LIVES – screenplay of the fictional movie  The Boutique on Main Street, inspired by an Academy Award-winning film The Shop on Main Street.
Small town in Slovakia, today. Xenophobic attacks against homosexuals and lesbians. Gays are marked by pink triangles and their properties and shops are being confiscated. The best solution is to run away to Mars where Dutchmen are preparing the mission…
     Victor, a shop owner and gay, formally marries Anna. Until now, she has lived in a lesbian relationship with Aniko, a bigoted Christian, who keeps her „sin“ secret, but out of jelousy writes an anonymous letter on fake marriage. Victor hangs himself and Aniko punishes herself for her deed Christ-like: she nails her hand to the table. Victor´s soul travels through the Universe - it´s heading for Mars…