This new production of the Prague-based Studio Hrdinů is its politically, socially and civically, if you will, most explicit piece in its repertoire in years.
Josef Chuchma, Divadelní noviny, 3/2020
Patočka, as portrayed in Bambušek’s production, does not feel like a tedious philosopher of a university department or as boring chartists delivering his wisdom, or even morals. The creative team portrayed him as a coherent human being, a person “who could not do otherwise”, as a man full of life.
Josef Rauvolf, ČT24, 20 January 2020
directed by Miroslav Bambušek
author Jan Patočka, Miroslav Bambušek
stage design and costumes Zuzana Krejzková
music Vladimír Franz
dramaturgy Jan Horák
video Jan Daňhel, Jakub Halousek
light Pavel Havrda
sound Petr Zábrodský
photo Martin Špelda
performing Miloslav Mejzlík, Stanislav Majer, Pasi Mäkelä, Jakub Gottwald, Marek Pospíchal, Vladimír Franz, Miroslav Petříček, Štěpán Chlouba
Premiere 16 January 2020
The theatre and film director, playwright and screenwriter Miroslav Bambušek (1975) studied philosophy and translation of French and Ancient Greek at Charles University. He views theatre as a means of reflection on political and social themes; he often stages his productions in industrial spaces.
For his cycle called Perzekuce.cz (2004–2006) he was awarded the Theatre Newspaper Award in 2006 (the parts called Porta Apostolorum, Útěcha polní cesty, Horáková x Gottwald, Zóna). For another project The Energy Pathways (2009–2013), he received festival honours at …příští vlna/next wave…, while the first part of the series Zdař Bůh! (“Michal” Coalmine, Ostrava) was awarded the best Alternative Theatre at the Divadelní noviny Awards in 2010 (the other parts: Voda – Eco-technical Museum Prague; Uran – Bunker in Drnov; Ropa – Winternitz Mills Pardubice). The last series so far called Songs about the Land was opened by the performance Prometheus (2016) at the former paper mill in Vrané nad Vltavou.
In the context of Czech theatre, Miroslav Bambušek is a director with a grand expressive gesture, an exalted visual aspect and sound opulence which never goes against the meaning of the text. Apart from the visuals, music plays just as important a role in his work. He often creates with Vladimír Franz (Porta Apostolorum, Zdař Bůh!, Heretical Essays etc.) and also with the composer Petr Kofroň: the film Jan Hus – A Mass for Three Dead Men, 2009); the production Don’t Touch My Fidel, Roxy/NoD, 2007), Fagots’ Cross, Rainald Goetz’s Fortress (MeetFactory, 2012 and 2013), Cantos (Divadlo Na zábradlí, 2012), etc. Their last cooperation was Arnošt Hába's opera The New Earth at the National Theatre (2014). Tomáš Vtípil’s music accompanies Bambušek’s projects Wasteland (2014) – a music and visual revue based on a legend of the underground Pavel Zajíček, an adaptation of Elfriede Jelinek’s production The Works (at Flora 2017), or a remarkable interpretation of the Büchner fragment Woyzeck, where live music creates a determining dramatic figure. It resulted in the Theatre Critics’s Award for Vtípil in 2020. His compositions also underscore Bambušek’s first feature film Blood Related (2021), which reflects the post-war period at the Czech-German borderlands and most importantly the traumas that persist over generations.
Studio Hrdinů was formed in 2011 in the Veletržní palác building at the National Gallery in Prague as an open theatre stage with a clear dramaturgical line of original projects and with a focus on cooperation between foreign and local creators and a genre and interdisciplinary overlap. Formally, the Studio Hrdinů productions are dramas with an emphasis on experimental elements and a visual aspect.
Apart from the in-house directors Kamila Polívková (2012: SAM, 2013: The Day of the Oprichnik, 2013: Milena's Recipes, 2014: The Animal Kingdom, 2016: Skugga Baldur, Actor and Carpenter…), Katharina Schmitt (2012: England, 2013: Black Mirrors, 2014: The Blood of the Wälsungs, 2015: A Report on the Party and the Guests) and the duo of directors Jan Horák and Michal Pěchouček (2012: The Church, 2013: The Emotional Poseur, 2015: Marbot, 2017: Cell No., A Report to the Academy, 2018: Bluebeard, 2019: Appearances Are Deceptive 2021: The Gold Cut), and Miroslav Bambušek (2014: The Wasteland, 2017: The Works, 2020: Heretical Essays, 2021: Moje říše je z tohoto světa), the theatre also cooperates with the former creative team of Divadlo Komedie Dušan D. Pařízek (2015: The Case Švejk) and David Jařab (2016: White Dogs and Black Cats) but also with other renowned directors such as Jan Nebeský (2013: Walser, the Assistant, 2014: The Silent Scream), Ivan Buraj and Jan Kačena (2019: Stiller) or Jiří Adámer (2019: Oči v sloup).
Within the profile section of this theatre, the Flora festival showed five if its productions in 2017: Bambušek’s adaptation of Elfriede Jelinek’s drama The Works, the directorial debut of the actress Ivana Uhlířová Off the Record, Horanský‘s variation of Mr. Theodor Mundstock, Pařízek’s The Case Švejk and finally the Production of 2016 – an original production Actor and Carpenter Majer Speaks… directed by Kamila Polívková.
photo Martin Špelda