Krcheň the Immortal

Slovak National Theatre –Drama, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2003
Author: Eva Maliti-Fraňová
Directed by Roman Polák

about the production

The image of father Krchen, the home despot and tyrant of extraordinary personal strength and charisma dominates the grotesque story. Thanks to his exceptional abilities, this man made use of the advantages of the former regime to lead an unearned and wanton, within the village and his family, even criminal life. (...) The story takes place in a Slovak countryside in the eighties of the twenties century, just before the end of the communist era. (...) In the broader context of the Slovak history, the period of the communist regime with its historical analogies and parallels is reflected in this play. The father embodies the essence of the former regime, formally equipped with the highest ideals, but in fact perversely violent to his home country and its people. The symbol is embodied in a raped victim, Krchen’s daughter Marka, an innocent girl seen from the point of view of our nineteen’s century Romanticists as Slovakia. The evil is reproduced in the play, it is repeated in every second generation, and it becomes an uneasy element of our historical experience.

Eva Maliti-Fraňová, the author

The play Krchen the Immortal has all aspects of modern drama, it can catch the interest of the audience, and although it is set in the author’s homeland, it can overcome it. It is not closely connected to Slovakia, its tradition and its habits. Interconnection of several time levels, together with the blend of reality and fantasy shifts it – said with a licence – to a Marquezian magic realism.

Vladimír Štefko

Krchen the Immortal offers a remarkable theme, peculiar instinctive emotions as well as mysterious magic of the stories, on the other hand it cannot deny a certain level of literariness in the narrative and in the static conception of the characters. Therefore, it represents a special challenge as well as a difficult directorial and dramaturgical problem, requiring intense conceptual strategy and a contextual revelation of the individual strata in the text.

Zora Jaurová, Domino Fórum

This play describes Slovaks and their so-called gentle nature. It is this nature that can excuse many things as it contains only few moral and ethical values. Their moral is quite loose. They can tolerate a lot. If it is OUR Johnny who killed, we can excuse him. Because we tolerate him, he can exist and his evil can grow to enormous growth. (...) The role of theatre is not only to entertain, but also to reveal the defects. Some viewers feel offended, but I am happy that they respond. I believe that although the play is challenging, the audience will understand it and the viewers will accept this reflection on our gentle nature…

Roman Polák, director



directed by Roman Polák
dramturgy: Darina Abrahámová
set: Vladimír Čáp
costumes: Marija Havran
characters and cast:
Krcheň the Immortal, Ňaňo Krcheň: Martin Huba, Postman Matej: Marián Labuda, Hana a Marka: Monika Hilmerová, Anča Sojková a Ďuro Marcin: Božidara Turzonovová, Zuzana Mišeje a Kubo Zubáľ: Soňa Valentová, Žofa Zubáľová a Jano Štrba: Dušan Tarageľ, Peter a Pavol: Ján Kroner, Eva: Zuzana Fialová, small Krcheň: Daniel Fischer


Roman Polák (1957) 

A graduate in theatre directing at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Bratislava. He worked in Slovak drama ensembles in Prešov, Martin, Nitra, Bratislava, and he collaborated abroad with the National Theatre in Prague and Brno, in Tallin, Estonia (P. de Marivaux – Touches and Connections), in Chicago (W. Shakespeare – Macbeth) and in Paris (A. S. Pushkin – The Stone Guest). During his engagement in the Astorka – Korzo ‘90 Theatre in Bratislava his directions of Russian drama became remarkably successful (A. P. Chekhov – Uncle Vanya, A. N. Ostrovsky – The Forest, M. Gorky – Smug Citizens, F. M. Dostoyevski – Crime and Punishment – under the title Murder with an Axe in St. Petersburg). He has directed over 70 productions, and in Slovakia he received over 15 awards for directing.

In 2000 he established the association Metamorphoses, with the objective to create significant theatre productions, which would reflect social processes and in the aesthetic and artistic way confront the majority of state theatres in Slovakia.