"A Hundred Years of the Cobra is a wide-ranging project of the Husa na Provázku Theatre and the director Vladimír Morávek who is concentrating on the works of Dostojevsky or more precisely, on adaptations of four of his great novels. They are, in chronological order: Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Possessed and The Brothers Karamazov. Our productions are titled: Raskolnikov - His Crime and His Punishment, Prince Myshkin is an Idiot, Stavrogin is a Devil and The Karamazovs Reloaded. The first two parts, Raskolnikov and Myshkin, were premiered on 19th December 2003 and 12th January 2004, repectively. Premieres of two remaining productions are planned for October 2004 and the autumn of 2005, so the production Prince Myshkin is an Idiot is only one quarter of the whole project. The dramatisation focuses on the main character, Myshkin, who is back after therapy for a form of mental aberration and oversensitiveness to foreign countries. Perhaps thanks to this peculiar illness, he seems naive, simple and infinetely gullible, but this means that the prince is not part of the modern era full of pretence, hypocrisy and expediency. The version of the Idiot by the Husa na Provázku Theatre focuses mostly on a hellish pentagon Myshkin - Philipovna - Aglaya - Rogozhin - Ganya. If only becuase of this, in comparison with Raskolnikov this piece is more dramatic and variable. Myshkin's arrival in Russia seems to hold great promise but the prince soon gets into trouble because of his unusually sincere and naive manners, his ignorance of the conventional communicative games. Uniwittingly he provokes one terribly embarrassment after antoher, and this leads to dramatic, critical situations in which it is necessary to act with consummate skill. However, a man must have an ally in such expanding circumstances but Myshkin is unable to find any. Nastasya Philipovna does not believe in herself, she let her worse self speak provocatively for her and she disputes everything in a self-tormented way. Aglaya is also unable to express herself for long and her accumulated desire then manifests itself counter-productively at the least suitable moment as an immature adolration of Myshkin and at the same time and contempt for others. On the other hand, Rogozhin's carnality makes it impossible for him to abandon his position of adversary and to view the situation from the outside. Ganya's horizons are strictly limited by a pipe dream of money and others see and respect Myshkin only as an easily accessible financial source. When the Situation becomes confused and moves inexorably toward its tragic end, Myshkin's epilepsy becomes almost an echo of this."
(by Michal Čunderle, World and Theatre Magazine)
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