M. H. L. – A documentary monodrama inspired by the life and work of the first Slovak professional theatre director, Magda Husáková Lokvencová (1916-1966). Author, director and actor Sláva Daubnerová conveys the complicated fate of a Czechoslovak intellectual and artist who was deeply marked by the time in which she lived and her marriage to Communist leader Gustáv Husák. Focusing on the subject of personal ambitions in conflict with the surrounding environment, Daubnerová depicts Husákova Lokvencová's many facets: director, wife, woman in love, a woman with a clear idea of politics and morals, an unbreakable person resisting the pressure of the regime. "Using minimal means, a balanced combination of words, movement, sound and visual materials, the performer draws us into the intimate tragedy of an unsatisfied desire for love and the foundering of artistic ambitions in hostile circumstances. On the other hand, she also gives us the feeling of an intimate victory of the spirit and of its irrepressible attempt to preserve the richness of life and freedom, resisting the pressure of fate and of an empty life lived in loneliness." Maja Hriešik has written. Sláva Daubnerová won a Discovery of the Season award in 2009 for this production, as well as the annual award of the Literary Fund in the field of theatre and dramatic work.
Rarely does it happen that the author of a play is a good director, let alone actor. However, in M.H.L. Daubnerová manages all this brilliantly. It is hard to say in which of her roles she is the strongest driver of the production – as author, director or actor (...) All the elements of the production, from direction to movement, are equally well balanced. Naturally, as the author, Daubnerová must have had a vision, when choosing the material, as to how to connect the individual fragments so as to suit Daubnerová the director and Daubnerová the actress. She, as the creator, and the others who have worked on the performance have made very good use of the connections between documentary theatre and theatre with a cathartic effect, the theatre of distance and the theatre that directly attacks the emotions, between personal theatre and theatre with a general testimonial value. The result is a production that is full-blooded, emotional, didactic, classic and modern at the same time (...)
M.H.L. cannot be seen as a purely documentary production. Yes, its inspiration was an exceptional woman in Slovak theatre history, and it is based on real documents that map her life, but the creators have managed to give them a new dimension. They have created an attractive and exceptionally aesthetic performance.
Soňa Smolková, Kød – konkrétne o divadle
About the director of the documentary monodrama "M. H. L.": Sláva Daubnerová (b. 1980) – Independent actor and director. A graduate of the Department of Cultural Studies at Comenius University, in 2006 she founded P.A.T., a professional, independent theatre that is a platform for contemporary theatre, dance and new media. Within it she creates monodramatic compositions straddling the border between theatre and performance, and projects in cooperation with guest actors, dancers, choreographers, musicians and visual artists. In 2006 she performed her first solo project, Cells, based on the diaries of Louise Bourgeois. It was followed in 2007 by Hamletmachine, a multimedia space installation based on Heiner Müller's play of the same name. A year later she wrote Polylogue, based on Jon Fosse's book Melancholy. Her most recent project is the documentary monodrama M.H.L.