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Robert Lepage in Pilsen!

Main international guests: Robert Lepage: 887 (directed by Robert Lepage); Ex Machina / Robert Lepage, Quebec (CA). Olivier Py: The Triumph of Love (directed by Olivier Py); Festival D’Avignon (FR). Jiří Havelka & Co.: Tonight’s Performance is Cancelled (directed by Jiří Havelka); Slovak National Theatre, Bratislava (SK)

Robert Lepage: 887 (directed by Robert Lepage); Ex Machina / Robert Lepage, Quebec (CA)

887 is the number of an apartment house on Murray Avenue in the city of Quebec, where a certain taxi driver lived with his wife, three children, and for a time also with his mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Robert Lepage, his youngest child and today a world-famous director, actor and playwright, tries in this solo performance to come to terms with the question of memory and forgetting. On stage is a miniature replica of the house in which he grew up. Thanks to the magic of the theatre and the latest visual technology it becomes a “palace of memory”, a starting point for reminiscences of a childhood spent in the stormy 1960s in French-speaking Canada. In the director’s own words, “887 is, for me, a humble attempt to delve into a history with a small ‘h’ to better understand the one with the big ‘H’.”

Olivier Py: The Triumph of Love (directed by Olivier Py); Festival D’Avignon (FR)

One of the highest-rated works on the programme of the Avignon Festival in 2019 was this playful musical production, written and directed by Oliver Py, the festival’s current director. Py, formerly the long-running director of the Odéon theatre in Paris, is one of the most famous French directors and playwrights of today. Inspired by the Brothers Grimm, the production is marked by Py’s distinctive directorial style, full of theatricality and cabaret-like stylisation. A fairytale about a girl in love who has to fight for her love in a world torn apart by war, the production is proof that fairytales do not have to be (only) for children.

Jiří Havelka & Co.: Tonight’s Performance is Cancelled (directed by Jiří Havelka); Slovak National Theatre, Bratislava (SK)

The 1989 revolution as an entertaining cabaret from the actors’ world. Jiří Havelka’s auteur-style production asks whether theatre is only meant to interpret a dramatic text, or whether at a certain moment it can fulfil a social role. The title is inspired by the declaration of employees of the Slovak National Theatre that stated: We never thought a time would come when an actor’s fundamental task would be not to act. The production combines authentic materials from 1989 with the events of today, and the search for the essence of the theatre.