Kaliba's Crime - The powerful story of a principled man whose uequal marriage to a much younger, calculating wife and the subsequent intrigues of his mother-in-law result in tragedy. In addition to its dramatic plot, involving a human tragedy, Rais' story is compelling in its masterful charater drawing and adroit use of direct speech. The dialogue is surprisingly fresh and trenchant. This stage adaptation of "Kaliba's Crime", which the Slovácko Theatre here shows in its Czech premiere, is based on a dramatisation by Bedřich Vrbský. Vrbský adapted the novel in 1935, but his adaptation was never shown on the professional stage. With the us of some motifs from Hubert Krejčí, it has now been reworked by Iva Šulajová and Jan Antonín Pitínský.
Jan Antonín Pitínský production gives the story dynamism through the use of stylised movements, gestures and voices. As with "The Cunning Little Vixen", the influence of Asian theatre can be seen) ... Sometimes Pitínský's fondness for presenting beauty in a hard-to-interpret way appears (the high, snowy mountains projected on to the back wall - do they represent a desire for purity in a otherwise "dirty" affair?). However, the production has the parameters of an effectively composed whole, and the actors give highly effective performances - perhaps surprisingly so, given the need to fulfil the requirements of stylisation. This is particularly true of the central trio.
Jan Kerr, Divadelní noviny
The director took advantage of the musical talent of the Hradištĕ theatre's ensemble of actors, weaving a powerful and brilliantly performed polyphony through the story that adds a balladic undertone to Rais's raw tale. Tomáš Jeřábek's stage music artfully fuses folkloric motifs with modern performance and makes many of the scenes more powerful.
Petra Ježková, Czech Theatre
The work in the chorus scenes, up to the details of the solo performances, is truly fascinating. In "Kaliba's Crime" the direction excels on all levels.
Josef Meszáros, www.scena.cz
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