Hedonists – A strange company meets in a red room. An actor trying to learn some incredibly difficult lines, an elegant lady with a secret in her handbag, a man whom everyone laughs at… None of them appear to have anything in common, time drags slowly, or has long since stopped, conversations are held, no one leaves, but from time to time someone suddenly departs this life. The boundaries between live and death become blurred, and the questions “What’s for supper” and “How will I die” become equally important. A grotesque look at the profound subject of life and death, supported by exaggeration, humour and also sad tones.
// Credits //
Direction: Jan Mikulášek
Dramaturgy: Dora Viceníková
Set and costumes: Marek Cpin
Music: Miloslav König
Cast: Dita Kaplanová, Jana Plodková, Magdaléna Sidonová, Anežka Kubátová, Jakub Žáček, Miloslav König, Leoš Noha, Honza Hájek, Petr Jeništa
Premiere October 24th, 2014
// Author //
Jan Mikulášek (1978) – After studying drama direction at the Janáček Academy of Musical Arts, which he did not finish, he worked as the artistic head of the Brno theatre Polárka. Together with other young theatre artists he helped make Polárka a closely-followed alternative theatre, focusing mostly on auteur work for as wide an audience spectrum as possible. He was also the artistic head of the Divadlo Petra Bezruče, and worked regularly with the Reduta theatre in Brno. In 2013, when the artistic head of the Reduta took over the leadership of the Divadlo Na zábradlí in Prague, Mikulášek became director there. The theatre currently has the following productions by Mikulášek in its repertoire: The V + W Letters, Europeana, Bourgeoisie, The Grey Seventies, The Stranger, The Golden Sixties, Hedonists and Doctor Zhivago. Mikulášek’s directorial approach frequently involves the dramatisation of novels, original scripts and auteur theatre. He works with cutting, detail, musical contrapposto and parallel plots. His other major source of inspiration is fine art, from which he “borrows” an emphasis on mise-en-scène and lighting. A marked feature of his work is the way in which he plays with the meaning of speeches, context and associations on a given theme. He manages to materialise on stage entirely abstract, philosophical subjects, using very simple means.
Theatre on the Balustrade – The theatre’s fifty-five year tradition has involved a number of distinguished figures, with those who have passed through the theatre including Václav Havel, Ivan Vyskočil, Jan Grossman, Evald Schorm and Petr Lébl. Since its creation the Theatre on the Balustrade has played a significant role in the country’s social and cultural context. It has created numerous productions that have represented the Czech Republic abroad, is home to a pleiad of notable actors, and is now a leading theatre for current theatrical tendencies. Since the 2013/2014 season the theatre has been headed by Petr Štědroň, Dora Viceníková and Jan Mikulášek, who incline towards irregular dramaturgy and auteur theatre. At the Theatre Critics’Awards for the past year it won the Theatre of the Year award, while set designer Marek Cpin won Set Design of the Year for Hedonists and the production Velvet Havel won awards in all other categories.
// Presse //
“ Hedonists is an entertaining production, arrestingly cynical, practically without tone-deaf spots (…) The acting is truly collective – each of the nine actors has a solo or a part of which he or she is the main star. They are all clearly in touch with each other, play to each other and complement each other superbly.
—Vladimír Mikulka, Svět a divadlo
“ Hedonists has no plot, but one scene follows another, sometimes in dramatic mode, sometimes in comedic. At one moment the audience members laugh at the morbid humour, at the next they listen, deep in thought, to philosophical contemplations on death or preparation for it.
—Tomáš Šťástka, kultura.idnes.cz
“ Hedonists is the most perfect spectacle yet from the Viceníková – Mikulášek – Cpin team. The teamwork among the actors, the directorial precision, the scenographic perfectionism – all this is unprecedented in the Czech theatrical environment.
—Lenka Dombrovská, Divadelní noviny
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