CHILDREN OF PARADISE
Director: Marián Amsler
Premiere: 19. 10. 2018, Mahen Theatre
Theatre of Joy, Life and Death.
Paris, 1828. On “Boulevard du Crime”, young mime artist Jean‑Baptiste Deburau meets the love of his life Garance, a beautiful, courageous and liberal-minded courtesan who seems to belong to a different era. Deburau does not dare profess his love to her. Neither does he realize that he is truly loved by young Nathalie, the theatre director’s daughter. Garance dates promising young actor Frédérick Lemaitre, but in reality she loves Deburau. When Garance is accused in the case of infamous criminal Lacenaire, she resorts to the protection of Earlde Montray.
An ever-fascinating story, not only about uncompromising love and great intrigue, but also about the varied forms of theatre and the people who have become addicted to it. The main protagonists are inspired by real characters from the history of theatre and crime. The theatre adaptation is based on Prevert’s scriptof the famous film Children of Paradise directed by Marcel Carné.
Braňo Holiček and co.
YEARS AND STEPS
Director: Braňo Holiček
Premiere: 2. 11. 2018, Theatre Reduta
After the successful projects Black Swan and Tribes, author and director Braňo Holiček returns to the stage of the Reduta Theatre toconclude a free trilogy devoted to human societies over the course of time. The main source of inspiration this time around is the dark side of the Czech bizarre show, its friendly ties with the demi-monde of crime and business, the practices of the tabloids, and a host of domestic image-makers of cultural hell. Czech taste is seen through the lens of collective creative work, as a source of biting irony and considerably incorrect humour.
Jiří Mahen, Martin Františák
Director: Martin Františák
Premiere: 14. 12. 2018, Mahen Theatre
The outlaw legend comes back to life. Justice. Revenge. Love and betrayal.
The English have their Robin Hood, in Silesia they have Ondráš, inSubcarpathian Ukraine there was Nikola Šuhaj, in Bohemia there was Babinský. And in Slovakia they have their outlaw legend Jánošík. A highwayman who allegedly stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Before he was hung on a hook by the rib, he became a legend and a symbol of honour, courage and bravery. A national hero! At the beginning of the 20th century, he inspired a rebel and one of the greatest cultural “outlaws” of the time in Brno, writer Jiří Mahen, to write his theatre play Jánošík. He dedicated it “to that spirit of Slovakia, to those regiments of Jánošík, fighting for the freedom of the nation; for its freedom and its truth”. The play was successfully staged at the National Theatre in Prague in 1910 starring Eduard Vojan in the title role, and was also the source for the most famous Czechoslovak filmin the period between the world wars, directed by Martin Frič in 1935. The outlaw topic appealed to Mahen personally. There was life in truth, a desire for freedom and liberation he was particularly impressed by. His Jánošík, however, is not a hero of supernormal abilities, but a young anarchist struggling for justice, longing for love and freedom, but also a misguided man who ultimately betrays his principles. And above all, Jánošík was a modern drama of defiance and passion, a story of a terrible journey towards justice, freedom and love.
PARADISE ON EARTH IN SIGHT?
Director: Zuzana Burianová, Anna Klimešová, Jan Holec
Premiere: 26. 1. 2019, Theatre Reduta
Cabaret of the Czech Future.
After its production of A Blossom Burns in the Native Orchard, the drama company of the National Theatre in Brno continues with a direct follow-up projectin which a younger generation of the servants of the theatre muse Thalia take their turn. A trio of rising directors under the artistic supervision of Martin Františák will be interpreting a quartet of scenic miniatures tailored to fit the Reduta Theatre. Their topic will be nothing less than the expectations of the Czech Lion for the future. What will they be like? Definitely original, scenically sharp and convincing in opinion. The creative heritage of Čapek, Weiss, Nesvadba, Neff and other great personalities of Czech sci-fi in a unique pastiche of unorthodox artistic visions over the course of a single evening governed by the unbridled energy of theatrical sages. Laser swords of brilliant light design, impressive futuristic cliffs of live music and glowing eruptions of stage invention. A future that is enticing, illusory and cruel.
Director: Šimon Dominik
Premiere: 15. 2. 2019, Mahen Theatre
If One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was a comedy, it would probably look like this! New theatre director Lewis is preparing for his debut. He is supposed to be working on a theatre play with psychiatric hospital patients as part of their therapy. But... the director’s ambition must step aside when one of the patients insists on doing nothing but Mozart’s opera Così fan tutte. Regardless of the fact that none of them can sing, let alone in Italian. To make things even worse, they are rehearsing in an old, burnt-out hospital theatre. A pyromaniac, a junkie addicted to lithium who hates Mozart above all, a stuttering lawyer, an autistic woman… this is just a sample of the acting group that begins to try to project their needs and ideas into the rehearsal process and gradually draw the director into their own play and lives. The hospital staff certainly have no understanding for such eccentric therapy. Hence the question is: who is actually crazy here?
This electrifying, partly biographical comedy about the origin of one theatre production in the highly specific environment of a mental hospital was written by one of the most famous Australian authors Louis Nowra who has written around thirty original theatre plays and dozens of screenplays, as well as four opera librettos. Based on the play Cosi, a film of the same name was shot in 1996.
Rudolf Těsnohlídek, Iva Klestilová, Zoja Mikotová
LIGHTNING HAS TOUCHED ME/ Part of the Vituperating Brno series
Director: Zoja Mikotová
Premiere: 22. 3. 2019, Theatre Reduta
The half-forgotten fate of a man whose life hurt.
Who does not know the Cunning Little Vixen! Charming tales about the mischievous adventures of a clever fox by Rudolf Těsnohlídek. But what do we know about the author? Few know that his life story is full of secrets and personal tragedies. All his life, he suffered from a feeling of social disgrace as a “knacker’s son”. He battled with depression and professional underestimation as a journalist. His first wife died under unclear circumstances during a honeymoon trip to Norway. His second marriage ended in failure. In his relatively short, but extremely active life, he left indelible traces in many areas. He wrote poems, prose and theatre plays for both children and adults. He translated Norwegian literature. With his courtroom reports for the newspaper Lidové noviny, he raised journalism to a kind of art form. He was a passionate Sokol gymnast, a speleologist and an expert in the argot of the Brno underworld. He established the tradition of Christmas trees in Náměstí Svobody, founded the Dagmar Orphanage, and discovered the distinctive writer and story-teller Eskymo Welzl for Czech readers… The half-forgotten fate of this man, who died 90 years ago last year and whose life was fatally entangled with Brno and the surroundings area, will be commemorated by the latest production in the Vituperating Brno series.
Marcel Proust, Harold Pinter, Di Trevis, J. A. Pitínský
IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME
Director: J. A. Pitínský
Premiere: 12. 4. 2019, Mahen Theatre
The beauty of a woman passing by is usually proportional to the speed of her pace.
The famous novel by the great French writer and hypochondriac Marcel Proust took fourteen years, including breaks, to write, but was never completed. The author attempted to depict the transformations of French society at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as its lifestyle, to create a magnificent literary snapshot of an epoch composed of a multitude of everyday stories of those who lived it and often unwittingly created it.
In search of lost time – 7 volumes of poetically accurate records, 4,215 vain and infinitely beautiful attempts to capture time, more than 300 different characters that appeal to us and excite us to this day. A book about the time you forget for a while while reading it. A work that cannot be brought to the stage. Or can it…?
In the Mahen Theatre, poetic director J. A. Pitínský will attempt this for the first time in the Czech Republic. He will base it not only on Proust’s novel, but also on its charming adaptation created for London’s Royal National Theatre in the year 2000 by playwright and Nobel Prize winner for literature Harold Pinter and director Di Trevis.
Ewald Palmetshofer, based on Gerhart Hauptmann
Director: Thomas Zielinski
Premiere: 17. 5. 2019, Theatre Reduta
Man in provisional arrangement.
Our society is becoming more and more disintegrated and the gap between opinion groups is getting deeper. How and why did we get into closed bubbles in which we do not hear each other? Who is a left-winger and who is a right-winger? Who is a socialist and who is a fascist? Palmetshofer poeticized the classic German social dramaby Gerhart Hauptmann from 1889 and, against the backdrop of a family tragedy, lets his characters speak in tragicomic lines about insurmountable differences of opinion. “How long do you think we’ll be receding from each other? So long that we will not be heard when we talk.”This is the way one character from the play speaks to the other. The two protagonists of the play, former roommates from a student college and good friends, are now antagonists of opinion. The story of three women and four men escalating through a meeting of former classmates – today quinquagenarians. A visitor comes to a family, stirs a raging storm, uncovers the hidden family hell and discovers that the whole generation is desperately seeking for an ideal it cannot attain. But it turns out that everyone lives alone, they all survive temporarily in a provisional arrangement and only death is certain.
Director: Martin Glaser
Premiere: 7. 6. 2019, Mahen Theatre
Bewitching fates of three women and one century.
Can we irrevocably change our life and the lives of others with one decision? Is our life in our own hands, or are we only helpless puppets in the game of destiny? Hana knows about that. She lives with the burden of guilt, fighting with her own shame, because something has gone wrong and can no longer be reversed. She just has to live with it. But how? It all begins innocently: It’s winter 1954. The nine-year-old Mira does not obey the words of her parents and goes with her friends to the river to ride on loose ice rafts.She falls into the water and her disobedience is revealed. Mira is punished: she does not get a single yolk cake from mummy’s birthday party. But great consequences will arise from imperceptible causes that will bring Mira’s life together with the life of strange aunt Hana.
A captivating Job story revealing that everything except love and mutual understanding can be lost in life, the fate of women of three generations emerges at a thrilling pace: Mira, her aunt Hana and grandmother Elsa. Pain and suffering, betrayal and hatred are revived, but so are love, humanity and humour.
The story is based on real events that occurredin Valašské Meziříčí. Hana is the third book by one of the most read female Czech authors today. It was published by Brno-based publishing house Host and soon became the literary discovery of 2017.
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.