The Enthusiasts - Musil's text is the prototype of an importatnt plot line in the author's unfinished novel The Man Without Qualities, which on one level -a panoramic view of of the Austro- Hungarien monarchy - mercilessly reveals the social and political backwardness of central Europe immediately before the First World War. At the heart of the book, however, is the clash between the surrounding world and the two main characters - Ulrich, the brother (the man wihout qualities) and Agathe, his sister. It is a seminal conflict of attitudes to life, a confrontation between people who are interested in the sphere of "the possible" (Ulrich and Agathe) and the pragmatic people who present the desire for a reality that can be grasped by reason. The (im)possibility of the coexistence of these two different types is also the subject of Musil's first theatre play. In The Enthusiasts he reflects the attitude of a whole middle generation. What at the beginning seems as a comedy about a love polygon ends up as a psychological study about the dark sides of human relationships. The protagonist of The Enthusiasts are not only seeing their marriage break up, but their whole lives slepping away between their fingers. They are ceasing to believe in success and moral or social principles, they are evaluating their lives so far and fighting for the right for human identity to be indefinable. From this point of view, The Enthusiasts are a synonym for the productive disquiet that - at least from time to time - forces us to consider and act.
"Against a minimalist background a humorous existenial drama unfolds, featuring thirty- somethings whose relationships are crumbling and whose world is collapsing. In Pařízek's own translation they converse in a language that is in equal parts contemporary and timeless. You may find The Enthusists highly enteraining or you may find it affects you deeply; it rather depends on your own current situation in life. The exceptionel performer (Roman Zach, Vanda Hybnerová, Gabriela Míčová, Martin Pechlát, Martin Finger, Stanislav Majer and Dana Poláková) oscillate between these two possibilities of ironic observation and deep internal feeling."
(by Richard Erml, Reflex)
"Musil's text, heavily cut and with the action transferred to the present day, emerges in the Comedy Theatre as an analysis of relationchips in modern society as they oscillate between abolute rationality and utter irrationality. Both extremes are pernicious."
(by Josef Chuchma, MF DNES)
"The director has skilfully managed to combine ironic comedyy with bitter ridicule and the hopeless despair of wasted human existences. The themes seem written to order for the actors of the Comedy Theatre, with their characteristically mature acting style. All involved manage to deliver precise performances, which together create a harmonious synthesis, spiced with the subtle gradations of the individual characters of each protagonist."
(by Veronika Štefanová, Reflex, Ex)
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