Karate Billy Is Coming Home

Slovak National Theatre – Drama, Bratislava, 1995
Author: Klaus Pohl
Directed by Vladimír Strnisko

about the production

Being an actor and a playwright, Klaus Pohl has written fifteen plays, including Karate Billy Is Coming Horne, and that is the most successful play of all. The proof of it is that in Germany

the play was staged in thirty theatres (in English translation it had its premiere on the stage of the National Theatre in London). Klaus Pohl was awarded many literary prizes for his drama production, among which were the prestigious Mulheim Drama Award in 1985 and the Gerhardt Hauptmann Award in 1987. In Karate Billy, the author opens a painful problem of a moral fault and co-responsibility of citizens for political crimes of a regime in which they were sentenced to live. Pohl means a totalitarian Communist regime in the above play, we have experienced in a tragic way as well. That is why Karate Billy was staged by the Slovak National Theatre just in the very anniversary season. Complete silence about common, joint sins, failures, crimes, quitting of the past, all this does not bring catharsis, but it hides decently, in a very delicate way, the dripping wet scars under cosmetic make-up of those who paint them pink.


directed by: Vladimír Strnisko
translation and script editing: Martin Porubjak
stage set: Ján Zavarský
music: Miroslav Nemec
cast: Ján Króner, Anna Javorková, Stano Dančiak / Emil Horváth, Marián Labuda, Ladislav Chudík, Diana Mórová / Zuzana Fialová, Jozef Vajda, Elo Romančík, Božidara Turzonovová


Vladimír Strnisko (born in 1938) is one of the crystallized personalities of the Slovak theatre. He was a founder of the legendary Divadlo na korze (Theatre in the Promenade) in Bratislava in the years 1968 – 71 where he created many profiled stage productions. After the theatre went into liquidation due to political reasons, Strnisko did not stage any play for four seasons. Nevertheless, since 1975 he has created series of brilliant stage productions at Nová scéna in Bratislava (Clavijo by Goethe, Macbeth by Shakespeare, Gabal and Love by Schiller, Wedding of Petty Bourgeois by Brecht, Even the Wise Can Make A Blunder by Ostrovsky, The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov, Don Juan by Molière, Dead Souls by Gogol). In the middle of the 1980's, Strnisko began to direct plays in the Slovak National Theatre (SND) and many of them staged by him became significant art acts of the drama ensemble (Maryša by the Mrštík Bros, The Two by Barč-Ivan, A Good Man of Sechuan by Brecht, The Suicide by Erdman, Public Excluded by Sartre, Country, the Vast by Schnitzler).  Vladimír Strnisko was a director of Drama Club in Prague, he directed and staged plays at the Slovak National Theatre (SND) in Bratislava and he was the associate professor in direction at the Drama and Puppetry Faculty at the Academy of Music and Drama (VŠMU) in Bratislava. His creative work is noted for a precise analytical approach to the actors, sense of crystallized poetry of stage production and direct connection with the social problems of the time in question. Apart from being active in Prague and in Bratislava, Strnisko has also directed plays in Macedonia, in Poland, in Hungary and in the U.S.