Central Europe Loves You

SkRAT Theatre, Bratislava, 2004
Authors: Vít Bednárik, Ingrid Hrubaničová, Vlado Zboroň, Dušan Vicen
Directed by Dušan Vicen, Vít Bednárik, Vlado Zboroň, Ingrid Hrubaničová

about the production

A married couple in “Central Europe“  live their everyday earthbound existence in a basement flat and at the same time they solve essential questions of international politics, philosophy, cultural science: French national habits, the status of women in Europe, the condition of a sausage in a town and in a village. Socrates, Seneca, and Jesus Christ as well as current health problems are obvious themes of the dialogues.

... substantial poverty and narrow-mindedness of our parochialism arouse laughter – as for example our persistent belief that we do not have to suffer from learning foreign languages, because it is better to teach foreigners Slovak. On the other hand, just as intended by the authors (...) we can speculate if a strong need in small nations for foreign language skills does not reflect quite a bit of the imperial politics of the “greater“ Europeans. We can say that the performance reflects the topical theoretical thoughts on the theme of the rebirth of Europe.
The formal shape of the performance creates a bright image of the Central-European region as the space traditionally full with crossing influences, which has recently been deranged by the historic upheavals after the fall of communism. Music oscillates from wild Balkan brass band to the refined aria by Bocelli, enthusiastically sung by Ingrid Hrubaničová in a dressing gown and a towel round her hair. The poetics of the performance is derived from the model of fixed improvisations of the legendary Stoka Theatre. Zboroň and Hrubaničová, the former members of this theatre, open and move the form further. Sometimes they step out from their characters, part of the texts has got a loose structure and improvisation takes place during the performance. The authors themselves called this form as a “staged public rehearsal“.
Anna Grusková, SME

... it is not a topical booming and superficial piece about integration or Central-European identity. Just the opposite, it is “only“ a sincere play about love, sometimes even brutally sincere. It is about the relationship between a man and a woman, about each of them individually, about the strokes of fate and about their wounds they in turns lick or twist the knife. It is a manifesto of a marriage, in which love and hatred, desire and resignation are so intermingled, that since long it has not been clear, what keeps the coup- le together. Two leading actors – Ingrid Hrubaničová and Vlado Zboroň – two of the prominent actors from the prime period of the Stoka Theatre, overcome here the “Stoka“ ”decomposition“ poetics. (...)

The intimate and closed character of the relationship is disrupted by the principle of the theatre in theatre – the director (Dušan Vicen) is all the time on stage, he follows the text, interrupts the story with his commentaries, he leads the actors etc. The actors also step out of their roles, Vlado Zboroň stokes up the fire in the stove (a necessary prop for the otherwise cold basement space of this company), he goes for wood etc. In one of the performances he was cooking for the audience as well, what fits in the naturalistic way of the performance of both the actors and the sets. An unexpected guest – a friend who has evidently lived for many years abroad, also disrupts the intimacy of the night of the couple. Apart from small presents, he has to bring a new point of view from the outside (literally), to confirm our, Central-European imagination of the life of the others and in another places.
Andrea Konečná, Slovo



Script and performance created by  Vít Bednárik, Ingrid Hrubaničová, Vlado Zboroň, Dušan Vicen
Music: Marek Piaček, Boris Lenko

The text of the production was created by recording the improvised dialogues on a tape. A team collaborated on the text; Inge Hrubaničová is the author of the scene Dinner, Vlado Zboroň and Inge Hrubaničová are the authors of the part A Dialogue of a Married Couple


Dušan Vicen (1966)
A graduate in theatre direction of the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Bratislava, co- founder of several theatre ensembles, in which he was a director, co-author and occasional actor. He collaborates with the Disk Theatre in Trnava, with the Association for Contemporary Opera, he has written several theatre and radio plays. He has been awarded several awards, e.g. the first Alfréd Radok 2002 Award for the best Czech and Slovak original theatre play – …stroke a dog … (apotheosis of emptiness).

Vít Bednárik (1951)
Leading actor of the legendary Z Theatre Zeleneč. At present, he collaborates as an actor and co-author in the Disk Theatre in Trnava.

Vlado Zboroň (1961)
A former member – actor and co-author in the performances of the Stoka Theatre. Recently he has collaborated with the Association for Contemporary Opera, he gives guest performances in the Disk Theatre in Trnava.

Ingrid Hrubaničová (1965)
A former member – actress, singer and co-author in the performances of the Stoka Theatre.