A mysterious opera based on texts by Jean Genet and Bedřich Bridel for one actor/singer (Miloslav König) with music by Martin Dohnal and directed by Jan Nebeský.
THE THIEF’S JOURNAL (the hunt for an impossible Nothingness) Jean Genet banters with Bedřich Bridel, contemporary imagination from the edge of society with the Baroque imagination. An unusual and daring attempt to couple the journals of the “accursed” playwright, author and recidivist Jean Genet, in which he describes his unique self-destructive philosophy of crime and beauty, with a significant work of Czech poetry from the Baroque period by Bedřich Bridel, What, God? Man? that provides a provocative mixture and unexpected ties. The narcissistic and thoughtlessly infantile journal full of pleasure, fear and rebellion against any kind of authority goes surprisingly well with the sharp and hot-blooded confession and ardour of Bridel, who lies at the feet of his God as Genet lies under the feet of this or that lover. Both texts are brimful of related desire and clamour. Baroque singing alternates with the intimate but matter-of-fact statements of a prostitute and a thief. The project won the Divadelní noviny award as Production of the Year, plus an award for Miloslav König (Acting Performance of the Season). In the Theatre Critics Award, too, both the production and König as an actor won the highest awards, as did Martin Dohnal in the category Music of the Year.
// CREDITS //
DIRECTION AND SCENOGRAPHY: Jan Nebeský
KEY IDEA: Tereza Marečková
SCRIPT: Miloslav König
MUSIC: Martin Dohnal
COSTUMES AND PROPS: Petra Vlachynská
CAST: Miloslav König a Martin Dohnal (klavír)
Premiere May 12th, 2017
// AUTHORS //
JAN NEBESKÝ (1953) Studied drama direction at DAMU. From 1983 to 1985 he worked at the theatre in Hradec Králové, from 1985 to 1989 at the S. K. Neumann Theatre in Prague. After November 1989 he worked at Činoherní klub, where he stayed for four years. In 1994 he joined Divadlo Komedie together with Michal Dočekal, and they reshaped the theatre (Shakespeare: Hamlet, Strindberg: The Ghost Sonata, Calderón: Daughter of the Air, Lagronová: Terezka, Beckett: Endgame, Ibsen: The Master Builder). He regularly works with the National Theatre drama company, Divadlo Na zábradlí and the NoD Roxy experimental space. Recently he has created the theatre group Jedl with the actors Lucie Trmíková and David Prachař. He teaches at DAMU.
MARTIN DOHNAL (1959) In the 1980s he studied at the Teaching Faculty of UJEP, before working at the post office and as a boilerman. Later (1994) he graduated in composition from JAMU in Brno (prof. A. Piňos). He had been deeply involved in the music and theatre world from the early 1980s – from 1983 he was the head, composer and pianist of the underground band Pro pocit jistoty; in 1985, together with Petr Osolsobě and J. A. Pitínský, he formed Ochotnický kroužek (Amateur Circle) in Brno. From 1986 he acted in a number of productions at HaDivadlo (such as A Human Tragicomedy and Stars on the Willow) and composed music for their productions (the high point being the scenic oratorio Job, which won an Alfréd Radok Award in 1996). He is the author of orchestral compositions (five symphonies), organ and chamber compositions, film music, operas etc., and has composed the music for over a hundred theatre productions.
MILOSLAV KÖNIG (1984) Studied at DAMU. Later he was engaged as an actor for several seasons at Divadlo v Dlouhé (e.g. Maskerade, Phaedra, The Peach Blossom Fan). He gave outstanding acting and singing performances in main roles in musicals at Divadlo Ta Fantastika. In 2007 he played the part of the Youth in Alice Nellis’ film Secrets. Until 2008 he was the singer of the band Velmi krátké vlny. From the 2013/2014 season he accepted an engagement at Divadlo Na zábradlí, where he can be seen in most of the productions in the current repertoire. In 2014 he won a Theatre Critics Award for Best Male Performance for the role of Václav Havel in the production Velvet Havel. He is one of the founding members of the Masopust theatre, and was nominated for a Thalia Award for the role of Ferdinand in that theatre’s production of The Constant Prince.
MASOPUST An independent theatre, founded in 2008 (the title is taken from the group’s first production, which was End of Carnival by Josef Topol, directed by Štěpán Pácl – Masopust is the Czech word for the Lenten carnival). It focuses on demanding texts, and during its short existence has taken part in the THEATRE festival several times. It is based at Eliadova knihovna in Divadlo Na zábradlí.
// PRESS //
Hats off to the musicality of Miloslav König, who manages the singing so perfectly that he connects the text and music into a single organic whole, without clichés or crutches. His speech is ardent, gradually becoming passionate, but without external theatricality or antics. König does not try to win the audience using cheap approaches. He is moderate, candid and authentic.
– Marie Třešňáková, ČT 24
König’s stunning performance has the necessary pathos. In his natural and perfect diction, so rarely heard on our stages today, he is despairing, bombastic, fervent and coquettish by turn.
– Jan Kerbr, Lidové noviny
A performance that effortlessly and cheekily reaches for inaccessible spiritual values, and plumbs the depths of physicality – as if humanity had no boundaries.
– Marie Reslová, Divadelní noviny survey
The linking of such stylistically and semantically different texts as Genet and Bridel does not come over as forced or a provocation. On the contrary, it is a stunning picture of the various forms of the human personality and its inner life.
– Marina Feltlová, Divadelní noviny survey
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