Dášeňka or Dog Tricks – Woof!

Jiří Jelínek and Anežka Kubátová


Jiří Jelínek and Anežka Kubátová

This auteur-style production by its two protagonists, Anežka Kubátová and Jiří Jelínek, describes the life of a puppy and life with a puppy in a playful, condensed and imaginative form. References to Karel Čapek’s life and work are interwoven with the moving situation of two aging dog-lovers. This adaptation of Čapek’s popular story about the life of a fox terrier puppy forms part of a project called Čapek on a String, spanning several years; in addition to Dášenka, the theatre has staged Čapek’s parable The Insect Play, Hordubal and Awkward Torture, a play based on his short stories. This is an admirably communicative story that really does entertain everybody. The more experienced will appreciate the playful references to Čapek’s life and to other world-famous works by one of the seven Czechs to have been nominated for a Nobel prize for literature. The sparks between the writer and the actor are also lightly handled. It all takes place in nice dog sets and costumes, with songs. Lively, fresh, witty, playful and wise. And an hour long. J. P. Kříž, www.novinky.cz

Concept and direction: Jiří Jelínek and Anežka Kubátová Dramaturgy: Lucie Němečková Music: Zdeněk Král Lyrics: Alexej Štěk
Set and puppets: Petra Jiránková
Costumes: Josef and Karel Fundus
Cast: Anežka Kubátová, Jiří Jelínek

Premiere: 8 February 2013 in the Goose on a String’s cellar theatre
Performance length: 60 minutes with no interval

Jiří Jelínek (1973) – A representative of auteur-style theatre who, as well as producing auteur texts, also directs, creates sets and acts. He is the founder of the distinguished Czech puppet company Dno Hradec Králové, in which he has been active for over ten years. After a few years he and other members of the company started to work with Vladimír Morávek in the Klicpera Theatre in Hradec Králové, where he acted and directed. Together with Morávek he then went to Brno to the Goose on a String Theatre, leaving after four years to go freelance. He works with the Divadlo Minor, the Reduta Theatre, the Tramtárie Theatre and Studio Ypsilon. In terms of content, his productions are often attempts at demythification, to look at something from the other side. He strips bare all kinds of apparently incontrovertible truths, myths and legends, as well as fashion idols, icons and the mannerisms and stereotypes of music, theatre and life. Jelínek typically uses wordplay based on the paradoxes that arise from multiple meanings of words, from homonyms and words that sound similar to each other. Grotesque elements are ever-present, creating an impression of non-committal lightness, but in reality the best always contain an attempt to precisely formulate a theme that is often of a serious or tragic nature (Cyrano, Hamlet, Richard 3., Paris from Romeo and Juliet…, but also Bye – Bye, Little Donkey, Roundthetable…). A further typical characteristic of his productions is a rich web of theatrical, literary, musical and artistic elements, mostly following the compositional principle of the revue. 

Goose on a String Theatre – Founded in autumn 1969, the theatre has been experimental since its inception, and is still known for its auteur-style productions, adaptations and stagings of original plays. Its current artistic head is Vladimír Morávek. Goose on a String works with renowned directors (J. A. Pitínský, Jan Mikulášek, Arnošt Goldflam and others), as well as with young and talented theatre creators (Anna Petrželková, Michal Hába etc.). The company has won a number of Alfréd Radok awards and nominations for its productions, the most recent being an Alfréd Radok award in 2011 for the music in the production of Leoš or Ever Yours by Miloš Štědroň, and the theatre has been nominated several times for Theatre of the Year.