Europeana – A Brief History of the 20th Century

Slovak Chamber Theatre Martin, 2014
Author: Patrik Ouředník
Directed by Ján Luterán

about the production

Europeana, with the subtitle A Brief History of the 20th Century, is an ironic authorial testimony about the hysteria of mankind in the not so distant past; a report about the brutality of wars and revolutions, about the collaboration of science and technology with evil, about media faking reality, about the intellectual theories which are in fact just full of emptiness and hopelessness.

The acting conciseness supports the fragmentation and the non-dramatic character of building the production. Its aim is to precisely name not just the past, but mostly the contemporary perception of that which is experienced. Without a pompous public education, with the bizarreness of cynical humour. The puzzle of individual pictures and images is, through the dialogue with the spectator, transformed into a bitter-funny, playful theatre pexeso game. Add your own experience, and you will have great fun, too! In the library of our present times, with the references, facts and connections from the past. But also with the banalities or mystifications. With reaching into the future. We are surrounded by phrases, dashes, looks, words, real events, acts, but also untruths. The actors master them, juggle with them, search in them, sort and combine them. This vaudeville freak-show has vigour as well as a proper detachment in presenting the historical connections. The actors are the main movers who are able to identify themselves with the facts, and also able to make fun of them in a dramatically attractive way. The spectator is at some moments horrified, at other moments greatly entertained. Such are we – the Europeans! There is no hope for us!

The literary original is used by the authors of this play only as a stepping stone for their own libretto interpreting a peculiar point of view at the history of the last century. It includes detachment, self-irony and cynical mockery, and it doesn’t try to make the historical connections look nicer. Maybe that’s exactly what we need just today: a good portion of ice- cold mockery, more than one bucket of it, not costing 10 Euros. What do you think?
Svetozár Sprušanský

 “Europeana from Martin is a balanced, wise work. The authors were able to transform a non-typical text into theatre. The actors change the facts and thus create peculiar situations which are sometimes funny and sometimes chilling. The performance has interesting plot. Good rhythm and many impulses to think for those who remember the past as well as for those who are just learning about the history. “
Oleg Dlouhý,

 “The book Europeana by Czech author Patrik Ouředník is, according to the dramatic advisor Róbert Mankovecký, a great challenge to theatre dramatists. We would search in vain for a story, a situation, a sujet, some basis for dramatic dialogue. Europeana is an inspiration, a starting point, an instruction how to proceed, an aesthetic limit setting the boundaries; it offers a rich language structure full of humour, sarcasm and irony. The creators of the production must discover by themselves the actions, situations and storylines, according to Ouředník´s short manual hidden between the lines of Europeana, observed Mankovecký.”

“Director Luterán, as well as Ouředník, doesn’t take the history with reverence. He, too, looks at the historical events with a detachment and without a concrete attitude. He doesn’t look for an answer, but observes how it was. Or could have been. With the amount of detachment and mainly theatricality – he presents even the cruellest facts with emotional distance. Luterán has not slipped to unnecessary descriptiveness (to which the text could easily lure), but he seeks in single situations the possibility to express the events with theatre symbol, scene, action.”



directed by ján Luterán
dramatization: ján Luterán, Miroslav Dacho
dramaturgy: Róbert Mankovecký
set design: ján Ptačín, Michal Lošonský
costumes: Eva Kleinová
motion cooperation: Tomáš Mischura
characters and cast: Old Man: Viliam Hriadel, Man: Marek Geišberg, Woman: Eva Gašparová, Girl: Kamila Antalová, Boy: Daniel Žulčák


Ján Luterán (1984) studied direction at the VŠMU in Bratislava in the year-class led by professor Ľubomír Vajdička. He often works in directional tandem with his wife, Mariana Luteránová. His theatre thinking has been influenced also by his stay at the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre of DAMU in Prague where he met the American director Anne Bogart during her acting practise at the Viewpoints. He collaborates with the theatres in Žilina, Nitra, Martin, Prešov, Košice and Bratislava. He inclines to new drama and authorial productions, the latter sometimes having a vaudeville tone, at other times a clear socially-critical accent: Once Upon a Time, There Was a Class (2011, Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra), Causa Bonasus (2012, Theatre On the Platform), Jánošík 007 (2012, The Žilina Town Theatre), Europeana (2014, Slovak Chamber Theatre Martin), Ten Commandments – The Third One – Thou Shalt Honour the Holy Sabbath (2014, Slovak National Theatre, Bratislava). His co-operation with Mariana Luteránová has led to several awards. The authorial production was shown at several Slovak and Czech festivals and was awarded the Grand Prix at the festival New Drama 2010. The production of Jánošík 007 was awarded the Special Prize of the Jury at the festival New Drama 2013 and was nominated for the award The Discovery of the Year at the festival Kremnické gagy (The Gags of Kremnica).


Materials available

Video of the production: no
Script of the production: EN

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