The Sturs

Slovak Chamber Theatre Martin, 2007
Author: Róbert Mankovecký, Dodo Gombár
Directed by Dodo Gombár

about the production

There are not many of us today who knows the work by Ľudovít Štúr – a 19th century Slovak poet, philosopher, politician, publicist, the leader of the Slovak National Revival Movement, codifier of the Slovak standard language – and his followers. It can be found in literature books, maybe some of us may remember mechanically learned verses from our childhood – and that would be it.

The real meaning and values of their work are forgotten. Moreover, for many of us turned these national bards into fossilized persons by different cyclical politically or nationally coloured activities. Only good teachers know how to break the aversion towards the list of obligatory school literature. They know how to make it attractive and do not let it to be covered by dust. It only requires a current form.

In the Slovak Chamber Theatre, they found the way how to revive the less attractive chapter of the obligatory reading, The Sturs poetry. Róbert Mankovecký, Miloslav Kráľ and Dodo Gombár selected a few universal poems by Ľudovít Štúr, Samo Chalupka, Janko Kráľ and Andrej Sládkovič, wrote music to them and created a piece with a title – The Sturs (the concert is cancelled). This witty rock and pop music suits the classical thoughts surprisingly well. The fusion is created, retrieving the political opinions as well as meditative love poetry of the founders of our modern national identity. The live interpretation of the band, consisting of the actors of the Slovak Chamber Theatre who name themselves by the first names of the poets, is full of energy and passion for unbound music-making.

The project of the Martin theatre will not leave anyone calm – whether it is in the theatre building or in the streets (the production is played in two forms: as a production or as a concert). Some of us may be surprised by the socio-political topicality, diversity of poetic images, fervour of love verses of our national revival personalities. The others may be delighted by the colourful music. But there will be also those who may be irritated by it. For this production is far away from those grand celebrations of marble heroes.
Oleg Dlouhý


directed by Dodo Gombár
dramaturgy: Róbert Mankovecký
set design: Marek Hollý
costumes: Alena Kobielská
music: Róbert Mankovecký, Miloslav Kráľ
cast: Marek Geišberg, Ondrej Kovaľ, Miloslav Kráľ, Dano Heriban, Jana Oľhová, Viliam Hriadel, Lucia Jašková, Milena Minichová, Róbert Mankovecký, Petronela Valentová, Ján Barto, Ján Kurhajec


Jozef Gombár (1973) belongs to young generation of Slovak stage directors. His works, from early to the most recent ones, encompass a extremely wide range of themes and genres. He has directed plays of grand themes, (Lorca’s Blood Wedding or Oleana by David Mamet) as well as light comedies (Dandy by Ferenc Molnár, 1 + 1 = 3 by Ray Cooney). Besides classical drama he showed his aptitude for directing musicals (King David, Ratcatcher), or dance theatre (Faust in the Bratislava Dance Theatre).

In 1999 – 2001 he was a full time director and art director in the Slovak Chamber Theatre Martin. Currently he is the art director of the City Theatre in Zlín, Czech Republic. He has realised many successful productions not only in Slovakia and Czech Republic but also in New York, Roma, and Budapest. He is the Alfred Radok Prize awardee for playwrighting Hugo Karas.