SAD 5/2019

The issue opens with Miroslav Petříček’s essay “The Illusion of Liberation” accompanied by an excerpt from Bernard Henri-Lévy’s “Barbarism with a Human Face”. The fifth instalment of Karel Haloun’s series about “The Political Poster…” is entitled “Free Elections and the Logos of Political Parties”. The opening section “Freedom… and Pleasure” then continues with essays by Michael Giles (“Love at First Calculation”) and Eleanor Rock (“Anatomy of Pleasure”) and closes with the review of an immersive project by the organisation Depresivní děti touží po penězích (Depressed Children Crave Money) entitled Bordel d’Amour by Kateřina Lesch Veselovská (“Love Prevails over Anything”). The section “MDP… from the Sea to Juliet” consists of Josef Rubeš’s essay evaluating the first season of the new management of Městská divadla pražská (Prague City Theatres). In the section “Circus… in the Kitchen of Fear” Kateřina Lesch Veselovská writes (“A Speciality of Circus Cuisine”) about the productions La Cucina dell’arte by Circus Ronaldo and Campana by Cirque Trottola, both of which were guests at the Arena of Theatre Festival by the Forman Brothers, and Vladimír Mikulka (“There is a Fear of Pop”) reviews foreign productions from this year’s Letní Letná festival: Tabarnak by Cirque Alfonse, Saison de Cirque by Cirque Aïtal, Projet.PDF by Portés de Femmes, and Strach – A Fear Song by Théâtre d’Un Jour. In the section “English… Amorous Polygons” Jitka Šotkovská writes (“Husbands and Wives and Lovers in London”) about Pinter’s Betrayal (directed by Jamie Lloyd, Harold Pinter Theatre) and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (directed by Nicholas Hytner, Bridge Theatre). The section “In Vienna… from Bach to Echo” is dedicated to this year’s Wiener Festwochen. Josef Červenka writes about productions of Six Brandenburg Concertos by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and Rosas (“The Vivid Humanity of Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker”) and Narcissus and Echo by David Marton and the Road Opera (“The Loneliness of David Marton”). Martina Ulmanová reviews productions of Orestes in Mosul staged at NT Gent by Milo Rau (“Aeschylus Manipulation by Milo Rau”) and Markus Öhrn’s 3 Episodes of Life (“Moralizing Pornography by Markus Öhrn”). In her essay “Reunion Wilson/Pickney/Huppert”, Zuzana Andrejcová Ferusová writes about Robert Wilson’s production Mary Said What She Said. In the section “Avignon… Outside” Barbora Etlíková (“Remote Island Europe”) reviews selected productions from this year’s Festival d’Avignon: Les Trombones de la Havane by Stefan Kaegi and Rimini Protokoll, Macbeth philosophe by Olivier Py and Enzo Verdet, and Outside by Kirill Serebrennikov (M.ART Foundation), Ordinary People by Jana Svobodová and Wen Hui (Archa Theatre) and others. In the section “Aix-en-Provence… Kurt and Wolfgangs Michaela Mojžišová writes (“On Hell and Hope”) about three operatic productions: Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny directed by Ivo van Hove, Rihm’s Jakob Lenz directed by Andrea Breth, and Mozart’s Requiem directed by Romeo Castellucci. The section “A Great Guy… and Great Girls” is dedicated to the playwright, actor and director Tomáš Dianiška, the author of the play of this issue - Trans, Points, Seconds (q. v.). It comprises the interview “I Didn’t Write It «for Fun», after All” and a review of Dianiška’s two Ostravian directions (Trans, Points, Seconds at Petr Bezruč Theatre and Klimáček’s Comics at Chamber Theatre Arena) by Petra Bergmannová (“A Bit Different Heroes”). The “Comedy Mix” presents two short stories The Fridge Has a Problem and Discarders and Holders by the journalist and writer Axel Hacke, and Egon Tobiáš’s comic strip Titanium Stalks continues with its eleventh instalment.

Trans, Points, Seconds Dianiška’s play follows the life story of Zdena Koubková (1913–1986), a Czechoslovakian athlete and holder of several world records for the 800 meters in the 1930s. Zdena was in fact a man but being born with a congenital physical deformity she was not aware of this and she was brought up like a woman. Only in the mid-1930s did the truth about her gender emerge. As a result, she was expelled from all Czechoslovakian athletic organizations and her records were finally deleted from IAAF tables in 1943. In 1936 Koubková underwent an operation and she spent the rest of her life as Zdeněk, a male. In the interview, Tomáš Dianiška cites Zemeckis’s movie Forrest Gump as one of his life’s inspirational sources and the patterns of his biographical dramas reflect this, including the play Trans, Points, Seconds. He builds his works up from short scenes and tableaus in largely chronological order. He sticks to basic facts but particular situations are developed according to his own taste and imagination. He often counts on very black humour, absurdity and (historical) irony allowing him to capture the spirit and mood of given times. Thus in Trans, Points, Seconds he quite logically points out a motif of tolerance to anything and anyone who is different. Thus – considering the times when the major part of the plot takes place – he understandably shifts from transgender issues to the question of antisemitism and intolerance in general. Trans, Points, Seconds is significantly darker and a lot more serious than most of Dianiška’s texts. In the interview entitled “I Did Not Write It «for Fun», after All” with Jakub Škorpil they talk about his sources of inspiration which are Hollywood movies from the 1980s and 1990s or for instance Nordic crime stories from which he “draws” a feeling for brusqueness and austerity.