SAD 5/2017

The issue opens with the next annotated extract from philosophical works on the theme of time: an excerpt from Mark Currie’s work “Time: River and Landscape” is introduced by Miroslav Petříček’s essay “Time in a Nutshell”. In the section “Time… without an Atlas”, it is accompanied by Werner Herzog’s essay “Mirrors are Blind”, and we also publish Rudolf Cortés’s proclamation “The World without an Atlas”. The section “Western… by the Forman Brothers” (all q. v.) is dedicated to the Forman Brothers Theatre and it includes an interview with Petr Forman and a review of the latest production entitled Deadtown. In the section “Shakespeare… and Sexpeer”, Josef Rubeš (“Macbeth in Prague: Not Too Much Blood”) reviews a production of Macbeth at the Municipal Theatre of Prague, Theatre D21 and at the Divadlo Na zábradlí; Vladimír Mikulka writes about a production of Hamlet at the Summer Shakespeare Festival (“To Take Microphones by the Horns, to Turn Your Back on Hamlet”) and Lukáš Houdek about Tim Crouch’s The Complete Deaths by Spymonkey Brighton (“An Elizabethan Meat-slicing Device”). In her essay “Questions from Wiener Festwochen”, Soňa Šimková looks at the productions Obsession directed by Ivo van Hove (Toneelgroep Amsterdam), Battlefield by Peter Brook (Bouffes du Nord) and a collective performance by La Fleur ensemble Die selbsternannte Aristokratie. In the “Slovak” section “Informers… of the Alternative”, Martina Ulmanová writes about a production of Elites prepared for Štúdio 12 by Jiří Havelka (“Natural Born Informers”), Lucia Lejková reviews Sláva Daubnerová’s production The Singing House at the Slovak National Theatre (“The Cause of Eva N. for the Second Time”), and Vladimír Mikulka returns to this year’s festival of alternative theatre KIOSK (“Alternatives from the Zárečie Station”). The section “Interaction… of Knowledge” includes Kateřina Kykalová’s essay on the immersive production Invitation prepared by the creators of the Project Pomezí  (“Invitation to Interaction”) and a synoptic review of five productions staged at the festival Nultý bod 2017, written by Karolina Plicková (“Five Times In Search of Lost Time”): Portraits in Motion by Volker Gerling, Cabeza by Daniel Abreu, Fragments of Love Images by the Spitfire Company, Portugal Is Not a Small Country by Hotel Europa, and The Lover by Bára Sigfúsdóttir. The common denominator of the section “The Victorious February… of the Czech Identity” looks at “the Czech question on the stage” and it incorporates reviews of productions returning either to notable events of recent history or attempting to re-interpret classical works. In his essay “Klicperovo divadlo: Two Times on a Political Theme” Vladimír Mikulka writes about productions of Victorious February by Pavel Kohout, directed by Břetislav Rychlík, and Havel’s Redevelopment directed by Andrej Krob. Jitka Šotkovská reviews a production of Fráňa Šrámek’s Moon over the River, directed at the Slovácké divadlo Uherské Hradiště by Anna Petrželková. In the essay “Sort It How You Want” Vladimír Mikulka writes about three productions by the Tygr v tísni: an adaptation of Ludvík Vaculík’s novel The Guinea Pigs, an authorial production Silence, Please! Recording in Progress, and Sonny Boys, an adaptation of Musil’s Confusions of Young Törless. Jakub Škorpil writes in his essay “The House is Sold Out” about Alois Jirásek’s Lucerna directed by Hana Burešová and staged at the Divadlo v Dlouhé. In her essay “Czech Identity is…” Barbora Etlíková then reviews productions of Afterparty by Pieter De Buysser (Archa Theatre), Ferdinand! by Lachende Bestien, Fidlovačka or Who Are We? by the Spielraum Kollektiv and a striking re-interpretation of Stroupežnický’s Naši furianti prepared by Jakub Čermák with the ensemble Depressive Children Long for Money, the text of which we also publish in this issue. Hubert Krejčí is present this time with his sketch Pitínský in Hradec and the eleventh instalment of the comic strip “Theatre Sadism Lessons” by S.d.Ch. is entitled Lucinda Console. The issue closes with “The Penitent Letter” by S.d.Ch. from the third Festival of Naked Forms.

 

Western… by Forman Brothers The Forman Brothers Theatre is an ensemble working in France rather than in Czechia. In his essay “Bohemian in the Wild West (Entertainment in the Town of the Dead)”, Karel Král considers their recent production entitled Deadtown (The Forman Brothers’ Wild West Show). It initially resembles a cabaret from a western town with no lack of dancing cowboys in shiny coloured shirts and singing beauties. However, it is only slightly strange when, for instance, instead of a rodeo we see an acrobat on a bicycle jumping on a trampoline. The show could definitely satisfy the audience but the ringmaster cuts it off abruptly and the real, “really magic” Deadtown begins. In a sepia-tinted “old” movie we fly above parched Arizona into the town of the title. Here is the story of a Czech magician who comes across all manner of difficulties with his wife passing off as a robot. In the end they are both shot down but death has no power in Deadtown, so they come back to life and leave. The fact that their horses have wheels is one of many magical elements of the production, which brings together silent drama, puppet theatre and cartoon projections. “Bankruptcy and Freedom” is the title of Karel Král’s interview with the director Petr Forman, who, with his brother, the graphic artist Milan, make up the chief pair of the company. The interview goes back over their beginnings in the theatre, the small “Punch and Judy” puppet “coffin” shows they used to perform in the 1980s, their relationship with their parents, particularly their famous father Miloš Forman, and also how they have become established in France. The major French tour of the puppet Baroque Opera was followed by collaboration with Lily and Igor from La Volière Dromesko on the productions La Baraque and Scarlet Sails. The Théâtre national de Bretagne took part in the production of these performances and also – though a bit more loosely – of the renowned Freak Show. It was the first time the Formans took out a loan to produce a project. It gave them freedom (they need not wait to see whether grant applications are successful) but due to it they are also permanently on the edge of personal bankruptcy. This is indeed the case now when the Brittany National Theatre has withdrawn from co-production and about 300 performances are needed to pay back the debt.