stage design and directed by Jan Nebeský
choreography Václav Kuneš
script Lucie Trmíková
music Martin Dohnal
costumes Petra Vlachynská
cast Lucie Trmíková, Petr Jeništa, Jan Mikušek
dancing Filip Staněk, Lukáš Nastišin / Václav Kuneš (420PEOPLE)
premiere 18 October 2018
“Leaving” is the theme of yet another original theatre project of the Jedl ensemble. They continue in their cooperation with the 420PEOPLE dance company, with whom they also introduced Dante’s Inferno to festival audiences (at 2015 Flora). The arguments, laments, litanies as well as subtle contemplation of the central couple (Lucie Trmíková and Petr Jeništa) are accompanied by the pianist Martin Dohnal and countertenor Jan Mikušek.
The fascinating oeuvre by T. S. Eliot, in particular his collection The Waste Land (1922) and Four Quartets (1943) focusing on the impossibility of capturing the present moment, is enriched by the creative team with excerpts from the Old Testament (Ecclesiastes). The effort to grasp a transcendental theme is not drowning in pathos, but on the contrary, surprises with its light playfulness with Dadaist hints pronounced in the costume design created by Petra Vlachynská who cooperates on most of the stage designs of Jedl. Firm in their belief that theatre is a ritual, the creative team directs the production towards a multi-layered theatre form combining corporeality with spirituality, male with female, expressivity with contemplation. The production that will play with your mind and the senses can, therefore, bring back memories of Nebeský’s awarded work The Thief’s Journal presented last year at Flora.
“The magic power of poetry in theatre language, a successful attempt at Gesamtkunstwerk.”
JOSEF MLEJNEK, A SURVEY FOR THE THEATE NEWSPAPER AWARD, 7 January 2019
“Both actors are literally amazing, rarely do we see such delicate and precise work with text on the Czech theatre scene. They can interpret the poet’s words so beautifully that the audience is completely breathless. (…)”
JAN KERBR, MAGAZÍN UNI, 12/2018
“The brilliant fragmentation of the original text, where parts of the poem almost unrestrainedly overlap, fits perfectly Nebeský’s immensely imaginative theatre style.”
JANA MACHALICKÁ, LIDOVÉ NOVINY, 22 October 2018
“The Waste Land is powerful. Intense and spiritual. It is a worshiping of the essence in a world full of noise and excitement, disturbance and interruption. It is an invitation for an encounter. It is an image of a modern human being, tossed between everything, not knowing what to do and how to cope with others.”
JOSEF CHUCHMA, ČT ART, 1 November 2018
The charismatic actress and respected screenwriter Lucie Trmíková (1969) – the face of this year’s Flora – studied acting at DAMU Academy. As a member of the Činoherní klub (1991–1996), she worked with the directors Ladislav Smoček, Ivo Krobot or Jan Nebeský, who became her partner not only in the creative process but also in life. Her stay with Divadlo Komedie (1996–2001) was successful – she was awarded the Radok Award for the role of Terezka in a production of the same name by Lenka Lagronová in 1997. She was further nominated for the Theatre Critics’ Award for her portrayal of the female protagonists of Ibsen’s plays in Nebeský’s direction at Divadlo v Dlouhé: Rita (Little Eyolf, 2013) and Hedda (Hedda Gabler, 2016); this was a continuation of Ibsen’s line – she starred already as Frida (John Gabriel Borkman, 1995) and Hilda (The Master Builder, 1999; both at Divadlo Komedie).
As a screenwriter, Trmíková has created an array of theatre and TV scripts and also cooperates with radio. She performs in most of the adaptations of her texts, at present under the scope of the Jedl ensemble. Her theatre production includes spiritual themes (Reynek, Čep, Mother Teresa), philosophical texts (Simone Weil), world classics (Dante, T. S. Eliot, Shakespeare) as well as works by lesser known authors (Gert Hofmann, Else Lasker-Schüller). Her interest in the theme, deep reading experience and at the same time ironic distance creates a congenial combination with Nebeský’s directorial style. The theatre critic Josef Mlejnek describes their creations as leading towards “metaphysical theatre which shows behind what is visible while always requiring great physical engagement”.
The creative tandem Lucie Trmíková (author, screenwriter, dramaturge, actress) – Jan Nebeský (director, stage designer) together with David Prachař (actor and director) have formed for over a decade an unmistakable, renowned theatre brand which only received its name in 2011 – Divadelní spolek Jedl (an abbreviation of their names Jenda, David, Lucie). They bring original personal testimonies on stage which often interweave art styles and genres. Based on screenplays by Lucie Trmíková and directed by Jan Nebeský, the Jedl has so far created Inferno – Variation on Dante (2014), Dvojí domov/Z Čepa (2015), Miluji tě jak po smrti (2016), Reynek / Words and Images from Petrkov (2017) or the loose trilogy Medea, The Waste Land and Private Confessions (all 2018). The “holy trinity” of artists regularly cooperates with the musicians Pavel Fajt, Jan Šikl and Martin Dohnal, the counter tenor Jan Mikušek and the 420PEOPLE dance company.
Jan Nebeský (1954) is a remarkable director with a unique stage vision not only in the context of Czech theatre. He graduated from directing at DAMU Academy in Prague. His productions of H. Ibsen rank among his most significant: Ghosts (1988), John Gabriel Borkman (1995), The Master Builder (1999) or the awarded Wild Duck staged at Divadlo v Dlouhé (2005), where he later also produced Little Eyolf (2013) and Hedda Gabler (2016). Jan Nebeský discovered the Austrian writer E. Jandl for Czech theatre when he staged The Humanists at Divadlo Komedie (2007) or the play Out of Estrangement at Divadlo Na zábradlí, which was awarded the Alfred Radok Award in 2004.
Apart from his productions Out of Estrangement and Little Eyolf, the Flora Theatre Festival hosted an original trilogy by the creative team Nebeský–Prachař–Fajt in 1999, 2009 and 2011, which focused on major literary figures confronted with serious art topics: Hamlet Part II, Incomplete Dream based on F. Pessoy and finally NoD Quijote inspired by B. Reynek’s graphics. He continues in this tradition with the Jedl group. He also works as a guest director at other large theatres; his Nora at Divadlo pod Palmovkou received the Theatre Newspaper Award and Thalia Award for Tereza Dočkalová in the main role. His production The Thief’s Journal received 3 awards at the 2017 Theatre Critics’ Award as the Production of the Year, Best Music for the composer Martin Dohnal and Best Male Performance for Miloslav König who also received the Theatre Newspaper Award for the Performance of the 2016/17 season. Both awarded productions were featured at last year’s Flora.
photo: Zuzana Lazarová