DEAD SOULS

Nikolaj Vasiljevič Gogol

CITY THEATRE BRNO

Hana Burešová

Direction: Hana Burešová
Adaption: Hana Burešová, Štěpán Otčenášek
Dramaturgy: Štěpán Otčenášek
Dramaturgical assistance: Jiří Záviš
Directorial assistance: Michal Isteník
Set: Tomáš Rusín
Costumes: Zuzana Štefunková-Rusínová
Music: Petr Hromádka
Cast:
Čičikov: Michal Isteník
Nozdrev: Petr Štěpán
Governor: Viktor Skála
Líbeznický: Alan Novotný
Psovský: Zdeněk Junák
Plesnivec, health inspector: Patrik Bořecký
Chief of police: Josef Jurásek
Postmaster: Zdeněk Bureš
Public prosecutor: Miloslav Čížek
Selifan: Jaroslav Matějka
Shánělka, monk: Jan Mazák
Police captain: Michal Nevěčný
Policeman: Jaroslav Záděra
Postmaster’s wife: Lenka Janíková
Public prosecutor’s wife: Jana Musilová
Líbeznická, Inspector’s wife: Eva Ventrubová
Governor’s wife: Lenka Bartolšicová
Governor’s daughter: Eliška Skálová
Policeman: Pavel Záruba

Dead Souls – The story of Gogol’s grotesque realistic novel is based on anecdote and mystification. It is the adventurous story of the impoverished nobleman Chichikov, who has the idea of getting rich through the purchase of dead serfs, for whom their owners have to pay tax by the next census. He wants to gain a grant or loan for the land from the state for these “dead souls.” His journey around the farms reveals the picturesque Russian society of the time like a multicoloured gallery of distinctive human types with all their laughably negative sides. Gogol was a sharp critic of the ruling system, and in his work harshly condemned servitude, destitution, suffering and despair; he attacked obtuseness, greed, miserliness, corruption and selfish inconsideration. In 2014 Michal Isteník gained a Thalia award for the role of Chichikov.

“ This intellectually admonitory and distinctively staged antillusive performance uses notable stylisation and grotesque exaggeration.
—Vít Závodský, Týdeník Rozhlas

“ The character of the unctuous, calculating Chichikov is perfect for Michal Isteník, but all the others also show with sovereign professionality that if they have something to act in their roles, then even small roles, together with the harmonious acting teamwork involved, can become a theatrical experience.
—Jana Soukupová, MF Dnes

“ Burešová’s production features a pleiad of brilliant acting performances and is an example of clever cooperation between all the other elements: the set design, costumes and Petr Hromádka’s music, while Tomáš Rusín, entirely within the concept of a social circus, has put six black moving walls on the stage, which sometimes create the illusion of an unfathomable labyrinth, vaudeville or hall of mirrors. Burešová uses a minimum of furniture, leaving Zuzana Štefunková-Rusínová’s costumes to do the talking. She has blown up to extremes, for example, not only the ladies’ wigs but also the chests of the notables on show.
—Luboš Mareček, echo24.cz

Hana Burešová (1959) – Graduated in drama from DAMU. Under the label DDT (Theatre Work Cooperative) she created her first productions in Prague’s Klub v Řeznické with her husband Štěpán Otčenášek, who is her permanent dramaturg. From 1988 to 1992 she was engaged at the Kladno – Mladá Boleslav Central Bohemian Theatre, and then in the Divadlo Labyrint in Prague. Since 1996 she, dramaturg Štěpán Otčenášek and director Jan Borna have been
the artistic team in charge of the Divadlo v Dlouhé. She teaches at the theatre faculty, DAMU, in Prague. Hana Burešová’s directorial style is characterised by considerable variety of genre and style. Her theatrically-inventive direction shows great feeling for style and the ability to convey the content of a play in an unforgettable form, strictly based on the style of the material. She has directed over sixty theatre productions, three of which have gained an Alfréd Radok award for the best production of the year (Don Juan and Faust – 1993, Death of Paul I. – 2008, The Break of Noon – 2012).

BRNO CITY THEATRE – The theatre opened immediately after the Second World War as the Free Theatre. Its name then changed several times – for a long time it was known as the Brothers Mrštík Theatre, and then after 1989 it became the Brno City Theatre. Since 1993 it
has been headed by Stanislav Moša. Under his leadership the theatre has modernised its drama theatre and in 2004 opened a new musical theatre. A total of three theatre companies thus operate in two theatres, cooperating across theatre genres. Although the main emphasis is on
musical production, the drama theatre regularly shows classic dramas, current popular plays and comedies that are a hit with audiences. The theatre can boast a number of awards, including the twelve Thalia awards which members of the theatre have won.