The Constant Prince - Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s Baroque examination of martydom, describes the fate of Prince Fernando, who in the mid-15th century let himself be martyred in Arab captivity in order to save the Christian city of Ceuta from destruction. It is a play about a saint. If Calderon had not developed the plot line of lovers who are kept apart by fate at the Moorish court, the play could be described as an extended variation on a mediaeval morality play. Today, however, we find ourselves asking questions that were unthinkable back them: isn’t the prince more of a naïve idealist, or even a fool? Is there any point to his sacrifice? What does he achieve by it? From the point of view of today’s individualism, his personal decision can be viewed as a tiresome gesture or an attempt at self-publicity. We imagine him in today’s context, which results in some absurd moments. Miloslav König was nominated for a 2012 Thalia award for the role of Ferdinand.
Pácl’s production gives us a reduced version of the classic text in a modern and dynamic interpretation.
Jan Kerbr, Divadelní noviny
This is clever, metaphorical theatre, which tells its story engagingly. The minimalist set consists of chipboard, on top of which there is nothing but water, sand and an antique bath. Everything else is provided by lighting and the words themselves. The lightness and precision with which König, in particular, and Pavla Beretová in the role of Fénix, work with versified text is rare on Czech stages.
Michal Zahálka, Hospodářské noviny
In the context of our time, this generally recognised saint becomes a Don Quijote – type figure toiling for an ideal that no one except for him is able to see, let alone appreciate. Like the behaviour of Cervantes’wandering knight, Fernando’s actions may seem to us to be laughable or unnecessary. Nevertheless both, through their extreme behaviour and the force of their faith, manage at the very least to jerk those around them out out of their established paths of action and thought.
Kateřina Součková, A2
The most pronounced character is Miloslav König’s Fernando – although, surprisingly, he does not come across as unambiguously positive. At first he comes over as a self-confident golden boy, whose behaviour is ambivalent to say the least. In this context his act of self-sacrifice initially seems to be that of a headstrong child, a provocative revolt against the established rules rather than a properly thought – through action. It is only through his gradual suffering that he becomes wiser, more self-aware and humble.
Jana Soprová, Český rozhlas