The Playboy of the Western World - With his wild comedy "The Playboy of the Western World", J. M. Synge provoked the most notorious riots in the history of Irish theatre. The story of a young man who becomes the hero of a whole village when he boasts that he killed his father, it was considered a slur on the Irish national character. "The Playboy of the Western World" is characterised by contrasts, extremes and reversals. The central conflict of the whole play is the clash beween illusions and reality. The title of the play requires a small explanation: the 'western world' is the backward Irish countryside, detached from the more civilisationally-developed parts of Ireland, and the play's hero, Christy Mahon, is a 'playboy' in his imagination at best. Probably the most effective element of the play is its language, a stylised English tinged with Celtic elements which in the mouths of Synge's characters gains an almost poetic quality.
Despite a skin of harsh humour, the "Drama Club's" latest production goes to the core of existential issues, and takes a disturbing look at subjects such as truth and lies, the bizarre circumstances of sexual attraction and the search for identity.
(by Jan Kerbr, Mozaika (Czech Radio))
Good theatre has at least two qualities which can immediately be perceived even by infrequent theatregoers: it is provocatively lively and smells of the present. Sokol's production has both these qualities in spades so much so that the sceptic begins to ask: How on earth do they do it? Or: Hasn't success come rather easily to them? Could it really just be talent?
(by Richard Erml, Reflex)
Sokol brings poetry and irony to this harsh, tragicomic drama; he gives it an almost mad playfulness with dimensions of ridicule, mystification and farce. He shows it almost as an action comedy, which can be played with in many ways.
(by Vladimir Hulec, MF Dnes)
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