Václav Štech’s Fiery Land
The drawing-room comedy about the practices of local politics and about the problems faced by artists at the beginning of the past century evokes the following questions: What were the conditions in the Brno theatre at the time? What are they today? The play is tailor-made for theatre lovers and those who like escalated situations.
Insurance company inspector Pazdera confides a brilliant plan to his family: colonising Bosnia! All Europe would benefit from this new ‘goldmine’. While awaiting the response to his proposal from the Habsburg government in Vienna, Pazdera intends to stand as member of parliament on behalf of a constituency ablaze with tensions, called a Fiery Land. He hopes that the current head of the district, his distant relative Nešpor, could help him get the seat and discuss his colonisation plan with the minister. Now he must persuade Nešpor of his patriotism. But he encounters unexpected setbacks, such as the arrival of a presumed spy from Vienna or the flourishing activities of the Velocipede Club which exasperate certain patriots. The comedy – written in 1895 by Václav Štech (1859–1947), one of the first managers of the Brno National Theatre in the 1920-1925 period –, takes a swipe at Czech politics and society which seem not to have changed a lot over the past century. In the adaptation by Tomáš Vůjtek (*1967), multiple winner of the Theatre Critics’ Award and the ‘Play of the Year’ title, Václav Štech attends a rehersal of his own comedy. Is he going to like the staging? Are the actors able to meet the exacting requirements of their employer? Wouldn’t he do better directing his play himself?
World premiere: at Reduta Theatre on October 22nd, 2021
Length of staging: 2 hours and 25 mins incl. intermission