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THEATRE LETÍ

Olga (Horror Stories from Hráčedek) (Anna Saavedra)

Martina Schlegelová

Direction: Martina Schlegelová
Dramaturgy: Marie Špalová
Set: Pavla Kamanová

Cast:
Pavlína Štorková, Jiří Böhm, Tomáš Kobr, Pavol Smolárik

Premieres 23th March and 1st April 2016 in Víla Štvanice

Olga (Horror Stories from Hráčedek) Scenes from the life of Olga Havlová -from a life she did not choose, but proudly made her own. The author, director and title role actress (Pavlína Štorková) have together created an unshowy theatrical portrait of the first lady of Czechoslovak dissent, and later of the state itself. We see her inner strength, determination and the values in which she believed. The action takes place in the Havels‘ country cottage in the village of Hrádeček in east Bohemia.

The production won a number of awards, including last year‘s Theatre Critics‘ Award for the best first production of a Czech play, and the Best Actress Award for Pavlína Štorková in the title role, while in the Divadelní noviny annual survey Olga was declared production of the year.

There is no surprising information here, or any sort of revolutionary interpretation of what has been gone over many time. However, Martina Schlegelová’s production manages to capture the essence of Olga’s being, her natural, if undeclared feminism, her inner strength and the values that she held and embodied for other people. (…) They have managed to remind us of Olga as a public figure, whose integrity leaves an empty space behind. There is a reference to this at the end of the play when Havel’s oft-repeated“Olga?!”is for the first time left hanging in the air without an answer.
Ester Žantovská, Hospodářské noviny

It was a brilliant move by the creators of the play not to try and aim at any physiognomic similarity between Olga and Václav Havel and the actors who play them, relying instead on the actors’ ability to express their characters through their acting. Olga is played by Pavlína Štorková, who has managed to create a highly unshowy and authentic portrait, without needing any sort of crutch in the form of physical similarity. Štorková’s portrayal suggests fairly precisely that Olga’s acerbic comments were above all a form of defence against the world, a rampart behind which she hid her feelings, and probably also her suffering. The actress’ physical fragility contrasts with the way in which she manages to naturally imprint inner strength and a likeable stubbornness on to the character. And her self-irony is literally the motor that drives the whole production forward, adding spice to the individual situations.
Jana Machalická, Lidové noviny

Horror Stories from Hrádeček show us both an imposing figure and the fate of a woman of flesh and blood. This is one of the best new productions of the year.
Marta Harasimowicz, Nový prostor 

The character of Olga in Anna Saavedra’s play of the same name does not appear at first sight to be a rewarding solo for an actress – Olga undergoes practically no psychological development, the role does not offer any kind of tense and dramatic situations. In most scenes it is as if Olga were setting up situations for colleagues with more distinctive roles. However this apparent disadvantage becomes for Štorková the character’s theme – unpretentiousness, a distaste for showing off and making an exhibition of oneself, a concept of life as a task that a person receives regardless of private suffering. And just as reliably as her Olga Havlová manages to discreetly negotiate authority for herself in her eternally ironic way, Štorková manages with her sober “holding back” to gain the attention of the audience.
From the nomination of Pavlína Štorková for a Thalie award

Martina Schlegelová (1981) Studied dramaturgy and drama direction at DAMU in Prague. Since her student years she has been interested in contemporary drama and independent theatre, in 2006 becoming artistic head of Divadlo Letí, to which she is connected by “a passion for new plays”. She has directed over twenty stage sketches for the theatre and over ten productions, of which the most distinctive have been Pool (Without Water), Bricked in (Mauerschau), Terminus, Testimony of a Masochist and Olga (Horror Stories from Hrádeček). She participated in the international project Against Love, Against Progress, Against Democracy, which Letí showed in cooperation with the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art. She has also worked in city theatres, such as the Klicpera Theatre in Hradec Králové, the Slovácko Theatre in Uherské hradiště, HaDivadlo in Brno and the South Bohemian Theatre in České Budějovice. Since 2007 she has taught at the Faculty of Theory and Criticism at DAMU. She translates from English, above all contemporary British playwrights. Since 2013 she has also directed radio plays, currently as one of Czech Radio’s main directors.

Letí Theatre Letí Theatre has been an independent theatre since it was founded in 2005. Since the start of its existence it has focused exclusively on contemporary drama, and all its productions are Czech or world premieres. The theatre is an open platform freely connecting artists and a “passion for new plays”. Currently its artistic head is director Martina Schlegelová, and its dramaturgs Marie Špalová and David Košťák. Production is managed by Karolína Macáková. Since 2009 the theatre has not had a permanent company, but from the 2015/2016 season has had a stable headquarters in the form of Prague’s Vila Štvanice. Actors with whom Letí works regularly include Richard Fiala, Tomáš Kobr, Jiří Böhm, Natália Drabiščáková, Tereza Hofová and others. In 1916 Divadlo Letí was fourth in the Theatre Critics’ Awards in the category Theatre of the Year. The theatre is a member of the Association of Independent Theatres and the international site of theatres showing contemporary drama Fabula mundi.

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