BY THE BOG OF CATS
Director: Martin Františák
Premiere: 22. 9. 2017 v Mahen Theatre
Irish landscape, rough country full of marshes and bogs. The local community prepares for festivities. Nevertheless, the wedding day of Carthage Killbride and his young fi ancée Caroline stands under the dark omens, old superstitions and curses. In their centre is Hester Swan. For the long 14 years, Hester
lived together with Carthage and has by him a daughter, Josie; yet now he is ready to link his life to that of the daughter of the rich peasant Cassidy. There is no place left for Hester in his life nor in his house. Once more, Hester feels betrayed, abandoned, humiliated, but she does not intend to give
up. She is going to fi ght until the very end although she senses, or maybe even knows, that her own fate - same as both her mother‘s and her daughter‘s fates - is linked to the treacherous Bog of Cats. It was on its edge that she was born once upon a time. That‘s where, once upon a time, her mother
abandoned her. This is the place where she had decided to remain and wait for her. She will stay and fight - not for her own happiness any more, or for her future or even a simple human dignity. She will be fighting, as the Amazons did once upon a time, in the fashion of the ancient barbarian witches - against
everything and everybody.
Director: Julia Wissert
Premiere: 24. 11. 2017, Mahen Theatre
The war of Troy is over. So what now? Return home. Odysseus (Ulysses), the king of Ithaca, embarks on the journey full of woe to his native land. He spent too long away from his family already. Are his wife Penelope and his son Telemachos still waiting for him? Unexpectedly, his sea travel draws out to full ten years. The adventures of Odysseus and his crew, all the manoeuvring between the two monsters of Scylla and Charybdis, their visit to Circe the Enchantress, or the resistance to the beautiful Sirens luring them to the shipwreck on the dangerous cliff s, all of this irreversibly impressed itself on European culture. Homer‘s epic poem written in 8th - 7th Century BCE provokes our imagination to this very day. Now the epic is to become an out-of-the-ordinary basis for a European, or more specifically Czech and German, theatrical encounter production. The young German director Julia Wissert has been repeatedly winning awards for her theatre work in the German language space (Preis der Stadt Salzburg, Körber Studio Junge Regie, Karl Hübner Preis), but in the Czech environment her work will be seen for the very fi rst time! With the international project entitled Odyssey, the Drama Department of the National Theatre Brno will be reacting to the current crisis of the European identity and try to go on its stage back to the European roots, to the moment when a blind poet for the fi rst time recorded the myth of the difficult journey of return to a common home; the myth that – as the unifi ed Europe - we relive even now.
Director: Tereza Karpianus
Premiere: 2. 3. 2018, Reduta
Climbing up to the top of the Mount Olympus, and then falling steeply down. New victories and new defeats. A fascinating, almost Ancient Greek narrative about a woman who would not give up. An original play by the most produced of female playwrights took its inspiration from the fate of the 1960s athlete Věra Čáslavská. One slight movement of her head meant that her life turned upside down. The best female athlete in the world and - aft er Jacqueline Kennedy - the second most popular woman on the planet at the time, she was meant to be labelled trash in her society. It was 1968 and the athlete Věra Čáslavská was celebrating her sporting triumph at the Mexico Olympics. She decided to „donate“ her hard-won medals to the men of the Prague Spring reform movement, and opposed Soviet tanks that,
at that very time, occupied Czechoslovakia. When the results were announced she was standing on the winner‘s rostrum, and as the Soviet Anthem played, she moved her head imperceptibly. Her quiet protest meant that she virtually fell in oblivion in her own country for the ensuing years… A bearer of a samurai sword, she showed her courage and bravery in defi ance of the fate. She fronted both a family tragedy and a personal crisis. She kept her unrelenting beliefs and lived in truth, staying true to her principles, her civic stances and her name. Věra. It‘s more than the biography of remarkable woman and athlete, it‘s rather a treatment of the meaning of human existence at the crossroad times of one‘s own life and during the breaking point moments of one’s country’s history. Meaning of the words such as courage, glory, responsibility, heroism, truth, and also human happiness… The play was written specially for the National Theatre Brno at the occasion of the Year of the Czech Statehood.
Director: Martin Čičvák
Premiere: 15. 6. 2018 v Mahen Theatre
Friedrich Schiller‘s drama captures last days of the deposed Mary Queen of Scots. It‘s too late for Mary Stuart in February 1587. She‘s been kept prisoner by the English for the last nineteen years. Diplomatic demarches, nor political blackmail, nor behind the scene scheming – nothing would help. The life of the Scottish Queen lies virtually in the hands of her rival, the queen of England and Ireland, Her Majesty Elizabeth I. She is deciding whether to sign the long draft ed death sentence, or whether to grant Mary the Royal pardon. In the confl ict between the two queens who in reality never met personally although they knew about each other much more than everything to be known, Schiller discovered a multi-layered subject matter linking the struggle for political power, and a confl ict, both religious and moral, that is both nourished and sustained by the personal and oft en also purely intimate interests of the two women. The author transformed this richly woven tangled texture into one of the best, most quoted and most produced historical dramas ever. For a long time, Mary Stuart‘s death was interpreted as a sacrifice of a beautiful Catholic martyr, while Elizabeth was seen in a negative perspective. In Schiller‘s play these two points of view become more reconciled. At the directorial helm of the production of the play, that plastically depicts both the two queens as they throw shadows around them, and the squabbles among ambitious pawns living in the umbrage of these historical characters, will be the Slovak director Martin Čičvák.