In the young Chekhov’s brutal, emotionally-adrift play, which he was galvanised into writing by his own personal experience, Pokorný finds a surprisingly large number of similiarities with today. Only on the surface does a Russian enclave at the end of the 19th century, riddled with small-town frustration, have nothing in common with our presentday boredom and disappointment. The unavoidably onerous banality of life, the stifling hothouse atmosphere of a closed society and the burning desire to shake it all off, smash it up and run away are just the same, and just as illusory. Only the accents have changed: the ironic smile has changed into a grimace, and derision into a desperate parody. Visually, the production works on the principle of a blow-up balloon. The first act sees both the tension and the number of actors on stage increase to bursting point. After that, alcohol opens a fissure, and
the stage starts to roar with night-time carnival madness. The second part, after the interval, is where the ruptured remnants are swept up. The whole thing is loud, pounding convulsively wild and excruciatingly transient, as if an express train full of drunken passengers had just roared past you. You want to slow it down, hang on to it, because you have the feeling that real live theatre is passing you by...
(by Richard Erml, Reflex)
Pokorný has intepreted Platonov as a brazenly-visualised series of contrasting acts, in which he turns to the present in order to express disillusionment at a moral-free world in which everyone just wants to have fun. The melancholy has been entirely replaced by matter-of-factness and cynicism. With notable help from set designer Martin Černý and costumer designer Kateřina Štefková, he envelops each of the five scenes in an entirely different atmosphere...
(by Saša Hrbotický, Hospodářské noviny)
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