Aréna Theatre, Bratislava, 2014
Author: Karl Marx / Peter Lomnický
Directed by Martin Čičvák

about the production

A crazy vaudeville performed at the upper board of the sinking Titanic, the so-called civilized world. Allusions, disillusions, fusions… A dramatic cry about the times in which we are living. And shouting and singing and food and shouting and smoke and shouting and shouting… The words not just by Marx in the mouths of not just the Slovak unsatisfied people. And on top of that, one whale. The conscience of the spectator as the main partner of this rollicking acting castling. A concept of a theatre-concert protest. If we, 25 years ago (in the entirely new social situation), dreamt about capitalism, now we have the feeling that we are at its close. That we are standing on its ruins. The world has already experienced all its phases: illusion, disillusion as well as disenchantment. So: How? And where next?! The creators add:

… “A great theatre of history…” “The expressive means which can be brought in without having to own anything: that which a person may have in their pocket or in a bag can create theatre without a theatre. That brought us to markers, sprays, music, dance, declamation, shouting, rubbish dump…” “If we do fight for anything with this theatre play, then for the democracy.”… “It is interesting and exciting that we fight with Marx for the democratic values. It is not a domestic problem, but a global one. It is a problem of the system.” … “The play asks the question, when are we finally able to say enough! When are we able to be more ascetic, more modest, more moderate, and thus, when we are finally able to stop lubricating that endless machinery of profit which is the capital.”

The production is a kind of a cry into the lights of the still shining capitalism. It contains a clear opinion of the creators to which the many seemingly different expressive means are surrendered. And there are so many of them! The performance stands on the borderline of a concert, a protest-song, a social- political declaration, a lecture, a debate. The angry, scolding, raging performance… From the heart as well as from the lungs. Sometimes deliberately beyond. Its character is poly-performing, or inter-genre. It creates emotions in the spectator, provokes him to react, to have an opinion.  And that is valuable. On top of that, it is playful and lovely funny. It asks: What has remained from our ideas and hopes? What or who can we blame for the existing status? The system, or ourselves in it? Fortunately, the production doesn´t lead to the unambiguous answers or to simple solutions of the global situation. And that is its biggest positive. So: We walk toward new and new days…
Svetozár Sprušanský

“The late director Peter Scherhaufer wished to stage Marx´s Capital already at the beginning of the 90ies; also German-Swiss group Rimini Protokoll reached after this text in 2006. The Slovak creators talk about inspiration by German dramatist René Polesch who has used in his productions also theoretical or philosophical texts. ´But I was best relieved when we were allowed to put away the books by Marx before the start of the rehearsals,” says the author of the text Peter Lomnický. Because Capital is in his play only ´dissolved´"

“It was just a question of time when, after fascism and communism, there will be also capitalism ventilated in the Aréna Theatre. However, while we consider the naming of the closed chapters of history as artistic duty and need, to evaluate the present situation can seem as boldness. (...) Apart from Karl Marx, there will sound also the words of Slavoj Žižek, Chuck Palahniuk, Ronald Schimmelpfennig, Samuel Beckett, Rage Against the Machine, Johann Sebastian Bach and many others. A truly postmodern collage.”
Soňa Smolková, Big Marx Is Watching

 “The production is an attractive, non-transparent work of a well put together team, and its aesthetics fit more into line of the actual post-political rather than traditionally political theatre.”
Soňa Šimková, kød - konkrétne o divadle 


directed by Martin Čičvák
dramaturgy: Martin Kubran, Zuzana Šajgalíková
setting: Tom Ciller
costumes: Nina A. Stillmark
cast: Rich Bitch: Kristína Greppelová, E 240: Braňo Deák, E 123: Martin Hronský, E 952: Tomáš Palonder, E 924: Marián Prevendarčík, Izabela: Táňa Pauhofová Dj Reverend


Martin Čičvák (1975) studied direction at JAMU and at London Dartington College of Arts. He worked at the National Theatre in Brno, in Prague at the Dramatic Club as well as at the National Theatre, at Slovak Chamber Theatre, Martin, and in 2005 as a guest director at the National Theatre in Ljubljana, Slovenia. At the Aréna Theatre, he very successfully produced productions, as their first Slovak stagings, under the common title Dirty Trilogy (E. Albee: The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia, I. Bauersima: Tattoo and The Celebration based on the fi by T. Vinterberg). He has gained even more success with the productions prepared for the Aréna Theatre within the so-called Civil Cycle (Dr. Gustáv Husák, Communism, Kukura – of that, he prepared also a second staging at the Dramatic Club in Prague). In 2013, he began to collaborate with the Theatre On Vinohrady in Prague, and in the same year he was invited to direct at the prestigious art school Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna.

Čičvák´s works were often shown at Divadelná Nitra; he acted in them either as the author or as the director (2004 – Arabian Night, 2007 – Dr. Gustáv Husák, 2008 – Leonce and Lena, 2012 – Kukura).

He has won many awards: The Critique Prize at the Theatre Festival in Edinburgh (J. Genet: The Maids, 1996). Czech Alfréd Radok Award (in the category The Talent of the Year, for his production of Immanuel Kant, 2000)Nominations or awards DOSKY – Arabian Night, Slovak National Theatre, 2004; Leonce and Lena, Slovak National Theatre, 2008; The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia – Aréna Theatre, 2004; the reward of the Literary Fund, nomination for the award of Tatra Banka, and three nominations for the award Dosky – Kukura, Aréna Theatre, 2009.

Materials available

Video of the production: yes
Script of the production: SK, EN

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