Atomised - Jan Mikulášek, one of the most distinctive Czech directors of the young generation, stages this provocative French bestseller, in which Houellebecq, against the story of two half brothers – reserved scientist Michel and sexual outlaw Bruno – describes, cogently and with dry humour, the life of the middle generation. Critics agree that Atomised is a book “as fundamental for the late 20th century as Camus’ The Stranger and Sartre’s Nausea were to the Sixties.” The strength of the text lies in its hyperrealistic level, the author’s sense of detail and humour, the narrative gradation and the dourness with which he characterises the modern world. Once again, Mikulášek shows his unusual feeling for stage metaphor, the artistic side of a production and for the precise rhythm of a production, including choice of music.
"Atomised – This French bestseller 1998 had the effect of a time bomb when it first appeared in 1998. It is a survey of the development of the morals and causes of contemporary individualism. Against the story of two stepbrothers – the dry scientist Michel, and sexual outlaw Bruno – it captures, succinctly and with dry humour, the life of the middle generation. The strength of the work lies above all in its hyperrealistic nature, the author’s sense of detail and humour, the narrative gradation and the tenacity with which it caricatures the modern-day world. Critics agree that Atomised is a fundamental book for the end of the twentieth century, in the same way that Camus’ The Outsider was, or Sartre’s Nausea for the sixties.
Atomised is not primarily a scandalous or nihilistic work, as its critics would like to have it. It is just as much a lament for dry eyes, a period testimony, and it does not lack humour."
(by Jan Němec, Respekt)
"The production is daring in its use of erotic motifs, including masturbation, inventive in its transposition of complex thoughts and situations into theatrical language, and consistent in its respect for the source text. It uses maximum irony, acerbity and above all a large number of social and cultural references (…) Jiří Vyorálek as Brno is cynical, wild and cruel. At the same time he is painfully touching, humanely gentle and intellectually witty. He leads the audience through daring situations and visions, until they find themselves looking down into an abyss of sex, human existence and death."
(by Vladimír Hulec, E15)
"What Mikulášek and Viceníková take above all from the source text are the cocoons of kindness, which they then develop. As a result, there is more to the overall story than inconclusiveness and hopelessness. This is also because they strip Atomised of most of its vulgarities, violence and lascivity. They thus distance themselves from Houellebecq’s aim of disgusting us as much as possible: people, sex, life.. It is as if in the Reduta they had much more understanding for all of this. Mikulášek’s humorous and tragic style may thus be just as clear in labelling the diseases of our civilisation, but it is not cynical derision. It is more of a warning, translated by means of empathy."
(by Josef Dubec, Svět a divadlo)
Jan Mikulášek and Dora Viceníková
Music and music selection:
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