Audience - The 1970s, in the office of a small, insignificant brewery, where the local maltster and the writer Ferdinand Vaněk together find out that everything is shit. In a letter to Alfréd Radok, the author wrote about this one-act tragicomic absurd drama from 1975 as follows: "I recently wrote a one-act play based on my experiences as a writer working in a brewery - I hope I have managed to capture in it something of the hopeless life of my fellow citizens." The text was first staged in Andrej Krob's barn during a garden party at Hrádeček, Havel's cottage. It had its official premiere in 1990, directed by Jiří Menzel in the Činoherní klub, with Josef Abrhám and Pavel Ladovský.
Compared to the well-known production, there is more emphases here on the natural behaviour of the characters, so that the basic differences in their characters come over more. The contrast is aided by the casting, with one of the roles being played with masterful straightforwardness by Norbert Lichý, and the other by Jiří Müller, an occasional actor who is otherwise part of the theatre's technical staff. As played by Lichý, the malster is a loud and oridnary master of the brewyard, who will show helpfulness and then suddenly indicate his lack of mercy. With the passing of time and increasing drenkenness he is becoming a querulous, aggrieved nobody. Müller's Ferdinand Vaněk is a withdrawn, hestitant, softly-spoken, very polite and pricinpled person. Both actors have created their characters in a personal and convincing way, with the dramatic exaggeration highlighting situations that breathe the spirit of the times.
(by Milan Líčka, Ostravablog.cz)
Director Štěpán Pácl and the two actors have managed to create an atmosphere in which the audience's laugther gradually changes to bitter smiles and, finally, to shivers down the spine. The Ostravan production of Havle's "Audience" is a forceful dramatic feat that revives the memory of the nation and warns people against the betrayal of their consciences.
(by Ladislav Vrchovský, Ostravan.cz)
Director Štěpán Pácl and the initiators of the project, actor Norbert Lichý and lighting technician (and trained actor) Jiří Müller, pay homage to the legacy of Havel the playwright. Their Audience is the essence of our recent past, and of us ourselves. It is not surprising that this witty confrontation with the earthier part of the "Land of Delight" is chilling in its conclusion, whether you are sitting in the theatre building known as the Morgue or elsewhere.
(by Veronika Boušová, divadlo.cz)