Bash (plays of recent days)

British Council, Metamorphosis Assotiation, The Astorka Korzo ´90 Theatre, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2003
Author: Neil LaBute
Directed by Jan-Willem van den Bosch

about the production

The production is a result of an international project involving The Metamorphosis Association, the Astorka Theatre and the British Council. The Metamorphosis Association was established in 2000 by the director Roman Polák, with the aim to produce, on Slovak stages, socially up-to-date theatre and to focus on the social vitality of theatre. The project Bash continues in staging contemporary plays. Bash (plays of recent days) is a play that asks “who is guilty, who is responsible“. It would be easier to charge the characters as guilty, but the question is to what extent are we responsible for their deeds? We are the society that “made them able“ to do such deeds.

Jan-Willem van den Bosch in the bulletin

This story or rather confession, does not strike us by its pathos but mainly by its graded sincerity and maybe, ironically, by its almost perverse commonplace, easily believed tragedy, to be accepted by the narrators only in the process of narration. (...) LaBute describes our world through allusions to myths – the stories of Iphigenie or Medea get new dimensions, it is the world of a contemporary personality and at the same time it confirms the everlasting repetition of the same, of human quintessence in completely different times and cultural periods. In modern form the mythical stories about Iphigenie, Medea and also partly about Oedipus, affect the viewers and readers by their shocking openness, insistent presence of contradictions inside a human being and with the created rules.


Of the four narrators one needs to, the other one must and the last two want to speak. We become witnesses of an informal confession, official statement, and a friendly chat. A change in the context influences the rhythm of narration, all within the frame of a deliberate and deeply felt minimalism in the direction – not only gestures are calculated but also the stubs in an ashtray. The production has a distinct refined form, however, it does not miss the basic theatrical instinct, clearly recognised by the viewer. The references to classical drama do not reflect an intellectual plaything but a deep connection with the archetypal inside us.

Zuzana Uličianska, SME


directed by Jan-Willem van den Bosch
translation: Martin Solotruk
producers: Katarína Martinková, Roman Polák
dramaturgy: Martina Vannayová
set and costume design: Vladimír Čáp
music: RandomConnectionQuest
videoprojections: BURST-TV
characters and cast:
Young man: Matej Landl, Young woman: Anna Šišková, Sue: Alena Ďuránová, John: Ľuboš Kostelný


Jan-Willem van den Bosch (1969) 

A Dutch-born British director, he co-operated with a number of world-famous directors (Carlos Medina, Heiner Müller, Marc von Henning, Kathryn Hunter and Marcelo Magni). He participated in several workshops, e.g. in the Royal National Theatre Studio led by Peter Brook. He translated plays by Brecht and by Bernhard from German into English, gave lectures on German Drama at the University of London. Jan-Willem van den Bosch directed productions of the Harold Pinter Studio (A. Schnitzler – A Carousel, F. Wedekind – Lulu) and Volcano, and at the Emery Theatre, site specific projects (J. Genet – Maids) and others. In the season 2001/2002 he staged in Slovakia the play, Closer, by P. Marber, which was also performed at Divadelná Nitra in 2002. For the season 2002 the production won DOSKY theatre awards for the best production, the best actor (Matej Landl), the best stage design (Vladimír Čáp) and for the best newcomer (Alena Ďuránová).