She Kissed Dubček - Czech playwright and political commentator Karel Steigerwald looks at 1968, one of the traumatic points of Czech history. The production is made up of two grotesques from this bleak period. May Paris Burn ia a montage capturing the beginning of the student revolt of May 1968. It is based on writings from the period, the memoirs of Jean-Luc Carrière, Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto, the thaughts of Che Guevara and other utopian materials. She kissed Dubček is about the arrest of Dubček, the Moscow talks in August 1968 and the fate of a girl who kissed Dubček and wanted to kiss Brezhnev. The author and the director of the production both look at the events of time through a grotesque lense. The historical figures that appear are represented with deliberate exaggeration, close to sarcastic caricature.
"Steigerwald's new plays are not orthodox dramas, but are close to stage collages, although they contain clearly-formulatated themes. After the nationwide outpourings this year on the fortieth anniversary of the occupation, they are like a blow in the teeth. A view, laid unpleasantly bare, of ourselves, our own naivety and our tragic mistakes. It is our peculiar form of political theatre, which we so greedily envy our German neighbours. And we may be glad of it."
(by Jana Machalická, Lidové noviny)
"Karel Steigerwald does not hide a clear opinion of the matter. He writes with clear personal prejudice, almost obstinately; without a trace of sentiment or pity, he dispatches a whole intellectual trend."
(by Vlamdimir Mikulka, Divadelní noviny)
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