Miroslav Petříček closes his series dedicated to the shapes of freedom with the essay “Is Freedom Actually Possible?” accompanying an extract from Ronald D. Laing’s work “Self and Others”. Karel Haloun also finishes his series about “the political poster in our country from the end of WWII to the present” and he does so with an essay entitled “From What and Actually Where To?”. The opening section “Freedom… and Revolution” then continues with an excerpt from an interview with Emppu Vuorinen (“A Lecture on All the Facts”) and a transcription of quotes overheard in a pub – “It Needs a New Revolution”. The section “From Oltec… All the Way to Brno” begins and ends in Brno: Milan Uhde (“There is No Use in Resisting Oltec’s Life Tempo”) writes about Anna Davidová’s production of Rules of the Cathouse at the Husa na provázku (Goose on a String) Theatre and Eliška Raiterová (“A Stranger with a Wolf-like Head at the Cashpoint”) about Gob Squad’s performance Super Night Shop with which the Brno platform Terén (The Terrain) opened operations. Ester Žantovská (“About a Man Who Was All Legs”) writes about a production of Tomáš Dianiška’s text Frankie: The Armless at the Prague Divadlo pod Palmovkou, and Vladimír Mikulka (“Few Words about Possession and Stories”) about two productions by Michal Hába: Molière’s Miser at Hradec Králové and Grillparzer’s The Fortune and Fall of King Ottokar at the Divadlo Komedie in Prague. In the section “Fest People… with Noodle Sauce” Karel Král (“A World’s Fair of Clichés”) writes about three productions from the international festival Divadlo (Theatre): Masłowska’s Other People (directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna, TR Warsaw), It’s Hard to Be a God (directed by Kornél Mundruczó, Proton Színház) and Ostrovsky’s Without a Dowry (directed by Dmitry Krymov). Marie Zdeňková (“Four of Four”) reflects on selected performances from the 4+4 Days in Motion Festival: Viktor Čech’s Clueless Reviewer, Lucie Fereznová’s My Hood, Landing by Lukáš Bouzek, Tereza Hradilková and Apolena Vanišová, Viktor Černický’s Prime Figures and A Desert Island… by Zuzana Sceranková and Natálie Rajnišová. Marek Lollok (“Twice on /Un/Freedom in Nitra”) writes about the productions A Man from Podolsk by the Teatr.doc and Holy Noodle by the Komuna Warszawa, both viewed at the Divadelná Nitra Festival. The section “Through the Secret River… to the Miracles of the World” is also dedicated to foreign festivals and Dana Silbiger Sliuková (“In Edinburgh…”) writes about the Edinburgh International Festival and productions of Secret River by Neil Armfield, Le Reprise: Histoire(s) du theatre (I) by Milo Rau, Eugen Onegin by Barrie Kosky, Oedipus by Robert Icke and Peter Gynt by Jonathan Kent. Michaela Mojžišová writes in her essay “Operatic Psychoanalyses in Salzburg and Pesare” about Händel’s Alcina directed by Damiano Michieletto and Rossini’s Semiramide directed by Graham Vick. In the section entitled “A Minstrel of… Women” Jakub Škorpil (“To Hear Female Voices”) writes about the productions Happy New Year by Rima Najdi, Fantasia by Anna Karasińska and TR Warszawa, All Ears by Kate McIntosh and Muyte Maker by Flory Détraz from the festival Prague Crossroads. Also presented here was the production The Country Remembers (directed by Jiří Havelka, SKD Martin) mapping the life of Karol Duchoň, a Slovak pop star from the post-1968 era of ‘normalization’. Both Martina Ulmanová (“Whooping in the «Age of Innocence»”) and Karel Král (“The Country Does Not Remember”) write about it. The play of this issue is Vladimír Mikulka’s Battering Rams of the Future (q.v.), the “Comedy Mix” presents the legendary German humourist Loriot and the concluding twelfth instalment of Egon Tobiáš’s comic strip Titanium Stalks is accompanied by “verbalized content of the comic strip without words” by the same author.
Battering Rams of the Future Battering Rams of the Future is set in a world where it turns out that all conspiracy theories are actually true. Beginning with the basic ones (“my father is not my real father”, “the results of the matrimony cards league were rigged”) through the sold-out Velvet Revolution to conspiracies that are, without exaggeration, epochal. Illuminati pull the strings of world events and jealously watch over their privileges in a so-called reversed world where the better they are, the worse the life of ordinary people in the ordinary world is. Despite this there are powers able to stop a seemingly omnipotent evil. Selfless but determined revolutionaries reveal all the secret rules through their strictly scientific experiments and now they are resolutely determined to squander the reversed world itself and all those successful and influential people. However, their involuntary allies and the actual executors of the planned Great Reversed Revolution must paradoxically represent a quite opposite pole of the society: only those whose inferiority has them moving in the lowest echelons can escape investigation by the imaginary radars of the privileged elites. Battering Rams of the Future follows the unstoppable journey of the trio of notoriously unsuccessful classmates upwards through history and the world. From a sordid pub through a fashionably refurbished school, Říp Mountain and all the way to the Club of Illuminati, perversely concealed in the Statue of Liberty. From here, it is just at a stone’s throw through a space-time corridor to Lhasa where at the right time an unforeseen passageway can be opened to the reversed world which is otherwise inaccessible. Vladimír Mikulka’s drama has its origins in a story put together with Jakub Škorpil and Martin J. Švejda.