Decease od Paľo Ročko

National Uprising Theatre (now The Slovak Chamber Theatre), Martin 1995
Author: Božena Slančíková-Timrava – Matúš Oľha
Directed by Matúš Oľha

about the production

Decease of Paľo Ročko is one of the best known prosaic works written in 1921 by the Slovak writer Božena Slančíková-Timrava.  It is a view at an ordinary, simple village man who, before he dies, asks for forgiveness. He reconciles himself with the sins, with the bitter offences committed against the basic moral and human values. The basis of adaptation by Matúš Oľha is an expression of an individual, Paľo Ročko, in a counterpoint to the expression of a village, depicted in a theatrical choir. It is an image of a village which sings at the funeral of the deceased Paľo. Another time it is a village humming in vivid chats and discussions in a pub, or a village which keeps silent and just observes, but first of all it is a village which attacks the main hero and accuses him, bites his conscience and enforces him to think and act.  The principle of an individual and of a choir from a formal point of view, and the main theme of guilt and fault and forgiveness are represented in the contents; add to this stage production virtually the scale of a genuine ancient tragedy.


script and director: Matúš Oľha
script editing and music: Róbert Mankovecký
stage set: Jozef Ciller
costumes: Mária Cillerová
cast: Ján Kožuch, Jana OI'hová, Katarína Vrzalová, Eliška Nosálová, Michal Gazdík, Renáta Rundová, František Výrostko, Ivan Folkman, Andrej Štermenský,  Marica Bálintová, Emília Čížová, Helena Sudická, Štefan Mišovič, Gita Mazalová, Ivan Giač, Anton Januš, Ján Blanský, Juraj Kemka, Jakub Cúth, Dušan Tuma, Feďo Výrostko


Matúš Oľha (born in 1959) graduated in the specialisation of directing art from the Academy of Music and Drama (VŠMU), he worked with the J. G. Tajovský Theatre. Since 1988 he has worked as full-time director of the Slovak National Uprising Theatre (DSNP) in Martin. The plays staged by him are distinguished with a concentrated work and special approach to an actor at a level of psychological and realistic depiction of the character and precisely determined stage set design. The proof of it is perhaps the collaboration of top stage set designers, e.g. P. Čanecký, J. Válek, F. Lipták, J. Ciller. The most significant stage productions by M. Oľha are: Centre of Collection by Kovachevich, 1987, the Jonáš Záborský Theatre (DJZ) , O´Neill 's A Moon for the Misbegotten, 1989, the Slovak National Uprising Theatre (DSNP), staged under the title Night for Two, and many other stage productions of the Slovak classic drama, e.g. Statky-zmätky (approximate translation: Standing and Confusion) and A New Life by J. G. Tajovský, The Snow-drifts by Vladimír Hurban Vladimírovič, Where Are You, Betty by M. Urban and others.