about the production
| man is born like clean board | man is born with original sin | each new life is a new beginning | man is formed by the common history of his ancestors |
These are only a few possible views on how the influence of history – of person or a group – forms the present and the future. Which of these views is relevant and which is not – that is one of the questions which can be asked by the audience after the production The Consolation of the Country Path. Writing the script, dramatist and director Miroslav Bambušek was influenced by the theatre play The Holy War by Rainald Götz, the text The Consolation of the Country Path by Martin Heidegger, and by documentation about the so-called Brno March from 30 May 1945. The result is an expressive mix of artistic and philosophical texts with factual details.
The production The Consolation of the Country Path was created as a part of a long-term project called Perzekuce.cz, in which Bambušek and his team have focused on a reflection of controversial moments in modern Czech history. In last two years several discussions with historians, philosophers and witnesses have been held concerning the theme of Brno March. The many-time rethinking of the factual material resulted positively in the final form – in a consistent theatre essay in which the historical facts are only a starting point, or one of the several layers of depiction.
Slapstick comedy like figures – a presenter with strong German accent and two historians, parasite on the historical facts. Each of them tries to grasp the matter from his point of view. Thanks to their limited specializations and a spasmodic fulfilling of the rules of their professions, which is close to the “fachidiotism”, they are not able to leave the limited borders of their narrow view and to see the event as a whole. The zeal for their own professionalism becomes an apology for ethical fall of each of the three. Their discussion necessarily leads to meaningless, Dadaistic jabbering, where the passages of sentences get lost in interjections and helpless screams. The factual material leads to a meditation over a policy of interpreting a historical situation, and to a model situation of the clash of various versions of memory. Scientific history is confronted with a popular version, media descriptions of events, and personal memories of those present on the march.
An interpretation of a historical fact and a content of historical memory always depend on who interprets the facts. Unfortunately, the ethics of a historian often give way to pragmatic aims, and a historical event becomes a tool of supporting some attitude, or, in worse case, ideology. An event in which we did not take part is a distant, impersonal story, very often thought of as a myth – and this makes it the tool of manipulation.
A highly alarming question runs through the whole story: why should we deal with it?, and there is another question, whether we are able to recognize the value of historical consciousness. In other words, whether we are able to learn from history, and if yes, to which level. To live in the ahistoric “now and here” is typical for an immature person – his/her memory is filled by experiences, adventures, stories. A desertion of the save haven of immaturity means, except for other things, to adopt an attitude towards memories, to size up the contents of the memory. And the memory and history can pay in return: except for a message, they bring consolation – in times of insecurity, when one feels that something is not right, they offer the stories and past solutions, which we may identify with and which can name an uncertain feeling: “One always asks himself why, what for, why, he asks, what for, there is always something happening, he asks, why, again something happens, something different, something new, then he sits there or somewhere about, or he needs to walk his dog, or one wakes up in the middle of a night and asks why all of this, why, or when he watches TV, or just sits, or at home, suddenly it occurs to him, then he forgets it, because something else happens, but why it happens, what for, that is the question. For the last time, one fiddles about with it, and only then, post facto, he knows what for, suddenly it is clear, but doesn’t matter now, because he can’t change it, but it’ll help, because he understands it, if you understand me, nevertheless, it helps him and that is good about it.”
civic association Mezery within the project Perzekuce.cz, Prague, Czech Republic
directed by Miroslav Bambušek
translations: A. Geuss, M. Lázňovská, P. Stojkov
set: Tom Sorel, Jana Preková
light design: Jan Beneš
movement assistance: Tomáš Turek
cast: Philipp Schenker, Monika Krejčí, Tomáš Jeřábek, Richard Němec, Martin Finger, Stanislav Majer, Jindřiška Křivánková, Jan Lepšík
Miroslav Bambušek (1975)
A dramatist, director, translator. He has focused on drama from the age of sixteen. In 1996 he and his brother Tomáš Bambušek founded D. I. Lebendung the theatre group dealing with producing of contemporary drama. As a dramaturg and director he co-operated with the Drama Studio in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic. From 2001 he has worked as artistic director, dramaturg and director of the Multiprostor Louny which concentrates on committed, socially and politically accented work. In 2004 he worked as a dramaturg of the Western Bohemia Theatre in Cheb. At the present he has been working on the project Pozdní_sběr.cz. Bambušek´s drama writing represents a compromise between author’s interest in political theatre and surrealistically free, sometimes brutal, vulgar lyricism. For the plays Sand (2002) and Porta Apostolorum (2004) he won the second Alfréd Radok Foundation Award for the best Czech play.
Script of the production: CZ, EN
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