A stage collage inspired by the work of Catholic prose writer and essayist Jan Čep. The title of the production is a reference to Čep’s first work, a collection of short stories from 1926, to his concept of two worlds (“in the second, hid to our eyes, all things will be present at once, and desire will be not be suffering, but delight without end”) and to his life in two countries (after 1948 he emigrated to France, but maintained ties with his home country). The multimedia stage composition involves three actors (Alois Švehlík, Lucie Trmíková, David Prachař), an artist (Igor Korpaczewski) and a musician (Martin Dohnal): against a background of Čep’s texts an artistic composition unfolds over the course of the production, a picture of a landscape with two figures and, behind the piano, the composer Martin Dohnal. The set has microphones, a table, chairs, a piano with two pairs of rubber boots, bales of hay and a canvas on the back wall. Among the main props used by the actors are hot potatoes, possibly as a symbol of home, or used “merely” as a grotesque mask. Lyricism alternates with exaggeration, deep contemplation with fleeting thoughts, visual and sound opposites weave themselves together into a whole. The production touches on archetypal symbols (youth, old age, love… and the overall paradox of being), the basic stories, the existential foundation of our existence.
// Credits //
Direction Jan Nebeský
Music Martin Dohnal
Art assistance Igor Korpaczewski
Set Jan Nebeský a Igor Korpaczewski
Alois Švehlík, Lucie Trmíková, David Prachař
Premiere September 29th, 2015, in NoD Experimental Space
// Author //
Jan Nebeský (1953) – Czech theatre director and teacher. He studied direction at DAMU in Prague. Ernst Jandl’s play From Foreignness, performed at Prague’s Divadlo Na zábradlí and directed by Jan Nebeský, gained the Alfréd Radok award for Production of the Year in 2004. From 2002, after the Divadlo Komedie’s company was broken up, he has been freelace, working in the Studio Hrdinů, the National Theatre and other Prague theatres (he works with the 420PEOPLE company and DAMÚZA). From 2004 he has taught direction at DAMU’s drama theatre department. In 2011 he created the Jedl civic association with Trmíková and Prachař, which gave rise to independent rpojects combining various types of art (theatre, dance, music, fine art). He now works reguarly with the NoD Experimental Space, with the production of Double Home being his sixth production there. Nebeský’s work is known for its exceptional stage imagination, with the director finding his way to the content of texts by means of artistic symbols, absurd abbreviations and stylized, expressive acting. The productions are created by a pleiad of unexpected ideas, a specific atmosphere and style. Nebeský’s theatre layers meanings, diverges into free associations, and in a collage-like way connect themes and layers of text, with the imagination and fantasy winning out over intelligibility and readability.
// Press //
Double Home is, in brief, a beautiful and lyrical production. It takes the form of a theatrical essay that meditates, in an unpretentious way, on life and death, meeting and missing, closeness and foreignness. Essays that manage, in compelling images, to express what goes on in the heart and soul of someone who looks for and feeds on doubts. It does so subtly, without pathos, and, what is more, with a humour that is, surprisingly, almost grinningly grotesque. (…) The creation of an image is firmly connected with the acting and situations, often expressive scenes, that contain both tenderness and harsh ridicule. What seems to resonate the most in Nebeský’s production is death and old age, which have various forms.
Jana Machalická, Lidové noviny
As a whole the production exudes a remarkable harmony, constructed from both visual and sound opposites. It is as if one were going here and there in time, on the journey through life, the search for oneself and one’s home, and coming to terms with one’s lot, its bizarre and paradoxical nature, but also its beauty and nostalgia.
Jana Soprová, www.scena.cz
Jan Nebeský and his colleagues use subtle but theatrically-rich and versatile means to lead us to an existential calm after which the only more fitting thing is to sit and continue to contemplate the experience, rather than to immediately reward it with applause. Although the creators do deserve applause.
Jan Kerbr, Divadelní noviny
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