Havel’s Play in Slovakia After 40 Years (Havlova Hra na Slovensku po 40ti Letech)

25 11 2008

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On Saturday, November 22nd, Vaclav Havel was written into the history of Slovakia. That day the Slovak National Theater presented his new play Odchazeni (Leaving). Havel’s last plays were introduced in Slovakia more than 40 years ago. The theater also could have been the first place in the world to introduce this play, but ultimately it was premiered in Prague first. Havel’s play was also unique in a way since the author started writing it before the Velvet Revolution in 1989, but completing it just last year (2007). Odchazeni was not only interesting for its creative development throughout Havel’s life, its own story with a political focus, but also the circumstances under which it was presented to the public.

Havel’s last plays that were introduced to Slovak audiences were Zahradni Slavnost (Garden Party) (1964) and Vyrozumeni (Notification) (1966). It was therefore an honor for Havel to not only introduce but also to see his play again in Slovakia. When Havel began to write Odchazeni, during the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, he recorded the dialogues on tapes, because of his concerns the manuscripts would be seized by the state police. Then he was elected as the President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. He returned to writing the play in 2003, after leaving the presidency, when he announced that he was preparing a new play – the first since the end of the 1980s.

Vaclav HavelFinally in 2007, Havel announced that his play was finished. The premiere of Odchazeni was planned for the National Theater in Prague with Jan Triska and Dagmar Havlova in the main roles. Casting his wife, Dagmar, in the main role brought controversy though and the National Theater did not work out. Havel then had an opportunity to present his play at Stavovske Theater in Prague, but he refused that because the Slovak National Theater (SNT) had offered its cooperation. The SNT, therefore, could have been the first theater to debut this play, but in the end it was outran by Archa Theater in Prague.

Theater Na Vinohradech was also interested in cooperation, but it resigned in the end because of a lack of funds for the preparation of the production. The National Theater also showed interest after all, but Havel had already chosen Archa. In 2008, before its first premiere, Havel presented the first act of Odchazeni in the theater Husa na provazku in Brno to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the theater. In May 2008, Odchazeni was finally played in Archa, but Dagmar Havlova did not participate due to health problems. The SNT, therefore, was almost the first theater to present this play, but it was definitely written into the memory of Czechs and Slovaks as a theater that had never played Havel’s dramas during the Russian occupation of Czechoslovakia and many years after when both countries, Czech Republic and Slovakia, became free of communism and split into two independent countries.

It is also interesting to note that Odchazeni is a political story, because Havel was not included in politics at the time when he began working on it, however, it definitely gained sharper political views thanks to the time when he was the President. The story that Havel displayed showed the practices and frauds in politics that have been identified in the past, but the current Slovak politicians also saw themselves in the story. Pavol Hrusovsky, chairman of KDH, and Mikulas Dzurinda, the former Prime Minister of the Slovak government, even found it informative.

During the premiere of Havel’s play in SNT the visitors could also visit an exhibition with photographs and documents from Havel’s life. The play has been translated into Slovak by Milan Lasica, directed by Peter Mikulik and the main roles have been filled by Marian Labuda and Zuzana Kocurikova. After its first premiere, the author confided that the game was very well translated and performed, and that nothing has been disregarded from the heavy dialogues important for telling the story.

The play was repeated today and the next performances this year will be on the 16th and 30th of December. Next year, Odchazeni will be played on the 17th of January and the 20th of February. For more information, please see the theater’s website: http://www.snd.sk.

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V sobotu, 22. listopadu, se Vaclav Havel zapsal do historie Slovenska. Tento den totiz Slovenske narodni divadlo predstavilo premieru jeho nove hry Odchazeni. Posledni Havlovy hry byly totiz predstaveny na Slovensku pred vice nez 40ti lety. Toto divadlo take mohlo byt prvnim mistem na svete, ktere uvedlo tuto hru, ale nakonec se tato hra dockala prvni premiery v Praze. Havlova hra je take unikatni tim, ze ji autor zacal jiz psat pred Sametovou revoluci v roce 1989, ale dokoncil ji az minuly rok. Odchazeni je tedy nejen zajimave pro svuj tvurci vyvoj behem Havlova zivota, samotny pribeh s politickym zamerenim, ale i okolnosti, pod kterymi se predstavilo verejnosti.

Posledni Havlovy hry, ktere byly predstaveny slovenskemu publiku byly Zahradni slavnost (1964) a Vyrozumeni (1966). Byla to tedy velka pocta pro Havla, protoze mel prilezitost nejen uvest ale i shlednout svou dalsi hru znovu na Slovensku. Kdyz Havel zacal tuto hru psat behem komunistickeho rezimu v Ceskoslovensku, nahraval si dialogy hry na pasky, protoze mel obavy, ze jeho rukopisy budou zabaveny statni policii. Pote byl zvolen prezidentem Ceskoslovenska a Ceske republiky. Ke hre se vratil v roce 2003, az po odchodu z prezidentskeho uradu, kdy oznamil, ze chysta novou divadelni hru – prvni od konce 80. let.

Teprve v roce 2007 Havel oznamil, ze tuto hru ukoncil. Puvodne Odchazeni melo mit premieru v Narodnim divadle v Praze s Janem Triskou a Dagmar Havlovou v hlavnich rolich. Obsazeni hlavni role jeho manzelkou, Dagmar, ale privedlo rozpory. Havel mel pote prilezitost predstavit svou hru ve Stavovskem divadle v Praze, kterou on ale odmitl, protoze se Slovenske narodni divadlo (SND) nabidlo ke spolupraci. SND tedy mohlo byt prvnim divadlem, ktere tuto hru uvedlo, ale nakonec ji predbehlo Divadlo Archa v Praze.

Dagmar Havlova & Vaclav HavelJeste pred Archou se zajimalo o spolupraci i Divadlo Na Vinohradech, ale nakonec rezignovalo pro nedostatek financnich prostredku na pripravu teto inscenace. Narodni divadlo se take znovu prihlasilo se zajmem o uvedeni teto hry, ale Havel si jiz zvolil Archu. V roce 2008, jeste pred svou prvni premierou, Havel prednesl prvni dejstvi teto inscenace v divadle Husa na provazku v Brne k oslave 40. Vyroci zalozeni tohoto divadla. V kvetnu 2008 se Odchazeni konecne dozilo sve premiery, ale Dagmar Havlova ze zdravotnich duvodu v ni nehrala. SND tedy temer bylo prvnim divadlem, ktere poprve predstavilo tuto hru, ale definitivne se zapsalo do pameti Cechu a Slovaku jako divadlo, ktere nehralo Havlovy hry behem ruske okupace Ceskoslovenska a take mnoho let pote, kdy se Ceska republika a Slovensko osvobodily od komunismu a rozdelili se do dvou samostatnych zemi.

Je take zajimave, ze Odchazeni melo politicky pribeh, protoze Havel nebyl zahrnut do politiky v dobe, kdy zacal pracovat na teto hre. Tato hra ale urcite ziskala ostrejsi politicky nahled diky dobe, kdy byl prezidentem. Pribeh, ktery Havel zobrazil ukazuje praktiky a podvody z politickeho deni, ktere byly urceny minulosti, ale nynejsi slovensti politici se take v ni videli. Pavol Hrusovsky, predseda KDH, a Mikulas Dzurinda, byvaly predseda Slovenske vlady, v ni dokonce nasli neco poucneho.

Kdyz SND predstavilo tuto hru, uvedlo take vystavu o outorovi s fotografiemy a dokumenty z jeho zivota. Hra byla prelozena do slovenstiny Milanem Lasicou, rezirovana Peterem Mikulikem a hlavni role byly obsazeny Marianem Labudou a Zuzanou Kocurikovou. Po jeji prvni premiere se autor sveril, ze hra byla velmi dobre prelozena a nastudovana, a ze nic nebylo pominuto z tezkych dialogu dulezitych ke ztvarneni deje.

Hra se opet hrala dnes a dalsi predstaveni v tomto roce budou 16. a 30. prosince. Pristi rok se Odchazeni bude hrat 17. ledna a 20. unora. Pro vice informaci navstivte stranky divadla: http://www.snd.sk.

More info (Vice informaci):

PRAVO: http://pravo.novinky.cz/p275a10a.php

CN: http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/tema/index_view.php?id=333797&id_seznam=5590

Prague Life: http://www.prague-life.com/prague/vaclav-havel

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