Blackbird - A dramatic meeting between a man and a woman who were once connected by a great love, which led the man to spend several years in prison. What connects them today? Can real love exist between an adult man and a girl on the brink of womanhood? These are the questions posed by one of the most distinctive directors of the middle generation, Jiří Pokorný.
"Blackbird – One of Harrower’s edgiest plays, Blackbird describes a meeting between a fifty-six-year-old man and a twenty-seven-year-old woman, whose lives were changed for ever by a passionate relationship fifteen years ago. The play develops the theme of the clash between life and the law. Peter Stein has said of it: “It is not a play about paedophilia: it’s a play about love. It’s also about a world where 12-year-olds are treated as consumers, where advertising uses sex as a means of enticement and where kids have easy access to internet porn… The play may start like a tabloid story but must become a metaphor of love. It must be about leaving. That is the problem of love: it starts, then it dies. Or you leave.
Jiří Štěpnička is an excellent actor. The conscious construction of his role and the spontaneous, even extreme physical treatment of it are in rare and natural harmony. Everything his Raymond says and does is like walking a tightrope. Will he fall or not? Will he betray himself? Will he remember Una and tactically pretend he doesn't know who she is? Is he just a lying coward? But maybe he really doesn't recognise her…
… Štěpnička comes over as a workaholic for whom work is a way of forgetting. As a passionate man who tries to control himself. But still, somewhere at the back, the possibility is open that he is only pretending everything."
(by Marie Reslová, Hospodářské noviny)
"The discovery of the production is Jana Pidrmanová’s supreme creation. She gives Una the believable form of a girl whose development, from her abuse in childhood (although one of the causes was her prepubertal passion) has reached the form of a rootless and – at least going by what she says – fairly promiscuous young woman. There is also effective interplay between the experienced protagonist and the promising talent, with the tension culminating at the points when they interrupt each other, and when the interpretation of the desperate testimonies of both figures overlaps."
(by Jan Kerbr, Divadelní noviny)
"Although the production lasts a mere 70 minutes, it is extremely demanding both for the actors and audience. The audience hardly manages to také a breath, it is so drawn into the dialogue and captivated by it. Štěpnička and Pidrmanová act with unbelievable energy and strength, giving their performances the psychological and physical maximum."
(by Jan Januš, www.cianews.cz)