Quiet Tarzan – A drinker, or to be more precise an alcoholic, obsessed with women, a thug with greasy hair… with a funny camera made of toilet rolls… A voyeur who in summer crept round the swimming pool fence and took photos of young women in swimming costumes, women sunbathing and village beauties from his surroundings… Photographer Miroslav Tichý was seen as an eccentric and a pervert by his neighbours, but is today considered one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century. His photos are displayed at prestigious world exhibitions, and individual photographs go for hundreds of thousands of crowns. His life and remarkable work poses a number of questions. Is this radical Moravian outsider a madman who captured the truth? Or is he just a despicable voyeur, whose effluence deserves to be flushed down the toilet?
About the director of the play "Quiet Tarzan": Anna Petrželková (b. 1984) – One of the notable directorial talents of Czech and Slovak theatre. She studied theatre direction at the VŠMU in Bratislava in Peter Mikulik’s year, graduating with productions of Hedda Gabler and Casablanca (between the vultures). While a student she worked as an intern in the Farm in the Cave theatre studio.Since graduating she has worked intensively in Czech and Slovak professional theatres, with productions including Embers at 7 and a Half Theatre in Brno, Kazimir and Karolina at the City Theatre, Žilina, Dangerous Liaisons in Zlín, Nora at the State Theatre, Košice, Itching at Prague’s A Studio Rubin, Marx Bros at Brno’s HaDivadlo, Quiet Tarzan in the Goose on a String Theatre, Jules et Jim at the Reduta Theatre, Mein Kampt at the Švanda Theatre and so on. Her production of Nora won a Dosky award for the directorial discovery of the year. Anna Petrželková’s style is rich, mercurial and energetic, making much use of stylisation, grotesque elements and the search for hidden meanings.
Goose on a String’s cellar theatre production is extraordinarily compelling and poetic. In a band of unusually powerful scenic pictures, it outlines the character of a unique eccentric who shocked or even repulsed those around him with his appearance, drinking and systematic idleness. Petrželka’s production has exceptionally strong parts (…) she is inspired in her staging of Tichý’s fragile tableaus. Two beautiful girls’ bodies in miniature swimsuits are here – as in Tichý’s pictures – exhibited with unforced grace. They gradate the eros of the production, with which Petrželková works masterfully. Erotica and female charms give the production a subtle balminess, treating Tichý as a refined and hidden admirer of these charms rather than a perverted pornographer. It is this message from the play’s creators – that Tichý was not a grubby, smelly weirdo but a totally free artist who was even contemptuous of his own work, that provides the crowning glory of this exceptionally visual production.
Luboš Mareček, Divadlo žije!
Ivana Hloužková plays Tichý so convincingly that the audience soon stops wondering why he is actually being played by a woman. Hloužková starts from a realistic image of an old man with all his physical features (hunched posture, unstable stance). She also drew inspiration from the photographer’s real life gestures and voice inflections, overdoing them slightly (in the same way, the local dialect is somewhat exaggerated in the production). The result is a fine caricature of an old man endowed with both humour and the dimension of a real personality. By casting a woman in the lead, the production team strived to suppress the motive of voyeurism and tune down a possible superficial, obvious, “downstage centre” interpretation of Tichý as a sexual outcast.
Kateřina Slámová Bartošová, Czech Theatre
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