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DIVADLO V DLOUHÉ

Our Swaggerers (Ladislav Stroupežnický)

Jan Borna

Direction Jan Borna
Adaptation Miroslav Macháček, Jan Borna
Dramaturgical and directorial assistance Barbora Futerová
Set Jaroslav Milfajt
Costumes Petra Goldflamová Štětinová
Music and music rehearsal Milan Potoček
Directorial assistance Miroslav Hanuš, Jan Vondráček

Cast

Filip Dubský (mayor) Miroslav Táborský
Marie Dubská (his wife) Ilona Svobodová
Václav Dubský (their son) Jan Meduna
Petr Dubský (grandfather) Jiří Wohanka
Jakub Bušek (1st councillor) Miroslav Hanuš
Františka Bušková (his wife) Lenka Veliká
Verunka Bušková (their daughter) Helena Dvořáková
Martin Bušek (their son) Pavel Lipták
Valentin Bláha (vysloužilý voják / old soldier) Jan Vondráček
Josef Habršperk (cobbler) Pavel Tesař
František Fiala (tailor) Martin Matejka
Terezka Fialová (his wife) Michaela Doležalová
Kristýna Fialová (their daughter) Klára Sedláčková Oltová
Markýtka (travelling saleswoman) Marie Turková
Marek (innkeeper) Vlastimil Zavřel
Matěj Šumbal (councillor) Tomáš Turek
Marie Šumbalová (his wife) Ivana Lokajová
Šmejkal (councillor) Čeněk Koliáš
Kožený (councillor) Martin Veliký
Policeman Peter Varga
Bandmaster, Teacher Milan Potoček
Village musicians Pavel Lipták, Kateřina Jirčíková

Premiere 15 January 2011

The performance lasts 2 hours 20 minutes, with interval

Our Swaggerers – When it was first published, this realistic play from 1887 was rejected by uncomprehending critics as too different and unusual. Today, Our Swaggerers forms part of the golden treasury of Czech drama. There are not many plays in Czech literature which probe the Czech national roots with such detachment, looking with humour at sensitive questions of the Czech character. Stroupežnický describes the everyday life of a seemingly idyllic south Bohemian village, where under the surface of neighbourly solidarity there rage drama and malice. The villagers vie for the prestigious position of top farmer and argue over who is to become the night watchman, while an unknown person threatens arson...

The editors of the theatre journal Divadelní noviny labelled Our Swaggerers Success of the Month:

This bitterly grotesque interpretation of a Czech classic leaves no room for pretty folklore or probity of character. Even the apparently positive heroes are far from perfect. The merciless scrutiny of profane money-grubbing activity, the result of vanity and materialism, is lit up by the musical activity of some of the characters.

When the entire village of Honice troops across the stage in the introduction of the Theatre in Dlouhá's Our Swaggerers, it is a sight for sore eyes. The population of the village, where the story of the old soldier and would-be night watchman Bláha takes place, is a motley collection of dubious characters, braggarts and simpletons. Director Jan Borna stretches Stroupežnícký's merciless picture of a Czech village into the widest possible grimace, until it becomes completely grotesque, with the ridiculous coarseness of the characters literally becoming the driver of all the action.

Jana Machalická, Lidové noviny

Even the smallest episode has its place here, the attraction of the production lying in its elaborate populousness. The overall picture is somewhat cruel and unflattering, but all the more cathartic. For this type of production, the benefits of intra-company teamwork built up over many years are very much apparent, as is the evident joy that the actors gain from their joint work and which they transfer "across the lights."

Jan Kerbr, Divadelní noviny

Our Swaggerers at the Theatre in Dlouhá is an exceptional theatrical experience. It is a production that has been thought through to the smallest detail, and which the whole time does exactly what it should. So much so that immediately after the final bow you may find yourself longing to see it again.

Zuzana Drtilová, MF DNES

Jan Borna (b. 1960) – Jan Borna, director and member of the artistic management at the Theatre in Dlouhá, is one of the most notable figures in current Czech theatre. His productions are largely auteur-style – he often writes the scripts himself or creates distinctive adaptations. He specialises in productions for children and in family theatre for all generations. He has won the Czech ASSITEJ Centre Award for the artistic development of children's and young people's theatre, and for a year became the Children's Theatre King (2002). He was also one of five people nominated for the Award of the Honorary Presidents of ASSITEJ (International Association of Theatres for Children and Young People). His most successful productions include one featuring Petr Škoumal and his children's songs, If A Pig Had Wings, which has played at the Theatre in Dlouhá since it was founded in 1996, and How I Got Lost, a theatrical revue based on Ludvik Aškenazy's Little Christmas Story. Borna's productions for adults have been similarly successful, in particular the cabaret shows (Cabaret Vian-Cami and Cabaret Prévert-Bulis), staged in the theatre's foyer. For Cabaret Prévert-Bulis he won the Sazka and Divadelní noviny award. In addition to theatrical texts, Jan Borna also writes poetry (the collections Small Requests, The Happy Waiting Room and Landscape Above the Parapet). In 2008 Jan Borna won the Czech Culture Ministry's award for his contribution to theatre.

Theatre in Dlouhá – The theatre uses various genres and means of expression, including drama, musical and movement theatre and puppet theatre, as well as various means of communicating them to different age groups. The Theatre in Dlouhá goes beyond drama to the alternative, music, puppet and cabaret genres. Its selection of productions is correspondingly wide-ranging, drawing on dramatic, epic, classic and contemporary literature, but focusing on lesser-known plays previous unperformed and untested in the Czech Republic. The theatre also holds regular performances for children and young people – over 120 performances a year. For younger children it holds the Child in Dlouhá festival, which shows the most interesting productions from theatres outside Prague, and since 2007 it has also held a theatre festival for teenagers – the only festival in the Czech Republic aimed at such an audience. The Theatre in Dlouhá has gained a number of awards from critics, and no fewer from audiences. It is headed by a well-coordinated foursome: manager Daniela Šálková, directors Hana Burešová and Jan Borna and dramaturg Štěpán Otčenášek.

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