Orestes Material

Eurípides et al.


Jan Frič

Direction Jan Frič
Adaptation Lucie Ferenzová a Jan Frič
Dramaturgy Lucie Ferenzová a Ivana Slámová
Set Matěj Sýkora
Costumes Barbora Zelníčková
Music Michal Cáb, TICHO DE BEIGE


Orestes Ivan Lupták
Elektra Natálie Řehořová
Pylades Gabriela Pyšná
Agamemnon, Menelaos Miloslav Mejzlík
Klytaimestra Kristina Maděričová
Helena, Aigistos Ladislav Hampl
Hermiona Natália Drabiščáková

World premiere 11 March 2011

The performance lasts 1 hour 35 minutes, with no interval.

Orestes Material – This auteur-style production by Jan Frič is a free and relaxed variation on the ancient Greek theme. Using the popular culture and aesthetics of the 1990s, it playfully transposes the old myth to a contemporary setting. Orestes returns to his childhood. At the same time, like a proper desperado, he has one desire – that when he dies, it should be a real occasion with all the attendant glory. A play about the necessity of accepting fate, despite our attempts to revolt against it. In the Greek drama, Orestes is finally liberated from his tortured conscience by a god. In Ferenzová and Frič's adaptation, Orestes grows up into a world where he is alone under an empty sky, with no gods, and is forced to see what he has done.

Jan Frič is a director who has been creating a distinctive style for some time, regardless of the nature of the material – his eccentric humour and original gags (here including the sending out of the pigeon post and soothsaying from the newspapers) makes itself felt regardless of whether he is staging a contemporary Finnish drama, a classical comedy of characters or a Greek tragedy. In Orestes Material Frič once again shows that he is one of the greatest hopes of his generation.

Kateřina Veselovská, Nekultura.cz

Frič's production, with writing and dramaturgical assistance from Lucie Ferenzová, uses Greek tragedy as a universally-valid matrix on which, with exaggeration and humour, he imprints his own personally-guaranteed experience. The resulting image is forceful and extremely authentic, although it is hard to express the experience of this production in words (...)

Frič talks about contemporary society as a world without gods (and without fathers), where, under an empty heaven, we have no choice but to rely on ourselves, and where the only form of catharsis is to see what we have really done. He is thus also probably expressing the attitude of his generation, whose pragmatism and, hopefully, courage to see things as they really are can be taken (at least for now) as promising.

Marie Reslová, Hospodářské noviny

Frič's production is a whirl of jokes, references and gags, including a "television" recipe for grilled octopus, the song Voyage voyage, children's (again!) games involving a little jumping man, and the shouts of "Look out, here comes hubris..." in which the audience can occasionally lose itself. But there is no harm in letting yourself be carried away by a roller-coaster with no brakes, only coming round at the end.

Vojtěch Varyš, Týden

Jan Frič (b. 1983) – A graduate of drama directing at DAMU in Prague. His graduation productions included Cold Country / Kaltes Land by Swiss author Reto Finger and the project Male Affairs (the production Gloom Of Points by Petr Kolečko). He works with A Studio Rubín, where in addition to the serial House Of Love he has also directed the musical Cabaret Hašek by Miloš Orson Štědroň and Current by Ondřej Novotný. He has also worked at the Petr Bezruč Theatre (Harshly / Softly), the Šalda Theatre in Liberec (Kokkola), the Klicpera Theatre in Hradec Králové (The Cripple of Inishmaan) and the K3 Theatre in Olomouc (Someone's Coming). At the Theatre on the Balustrade he has directed The Oginski Polonaise (2009), Tartuffe Games (2009) and Orestes Material, a variation on an ancient theme. Marie Reslová has written of Frič: "Director Jan Frič is the pupil of one of the most distinctive directors of the generation of 'fathers', Jan Nebeský. It is very encouraging to see the continuity with which he follows in Nebeský's footsteps, developing Nebeský's themes and theatrical language in his own way."

Theatre on the Balustrade – Founded in 1958, the theatre has had a major influence on the form of Czech theatre for several decades. Names connected with its history include Ivan Vyskočil, Jiří Suchý, Ladislav Fialka, Jan Grossman, Libor Fára, Václav Havel, Evald Schorm and a number of others. In 1989 Jan Grossman returned to the theatre as a director, later becoming manager. After his death in 1993 the theatre gained new management – manager Doubravka Svobodová and artistic head Petr Lébl, a highly-talented director who displayed his exceptional imagination in provocative interpretations of classic texts (J. Genet, The Maids, L. Stroupežnický:Our 'Our Swaggerers', N.V. Gogol, The Government Inspector, A.P. Chekhov, The Seagull, Ivanov, Uncle Vanya). After his tragic death in 1999, the theatre's questing, non-traditional style was continued by an artistic team consisting of director J. A Pitinský (T. Bernhard: Ritter, Dene, Voss, F. Schiller: Intrigue and Love, D. Harrower: Knives in Hens), actor and director Jiří Ornest (J. Bowles: In the Summer House, D. Lane: Happy End). In 2003 this "triumvirate" was replaced by Ivana Slámová as artistic manager and playwright and director Jiří Pokorný (J.-C. Carrière: The Terrace, G. Tabori: The Ballad of the Wiener Schnitzel, G. Preissová: The Farmer's Woman). The theatre is currently headed by manager Doubravka Svobodová, chief dramaturg Ivana Slámová and artistic head David Czesany. With the arrival of David Czesany, the Theatre on the Balustrade has started to introduce thematic seasons. The first (2010/11) was subtitled "Who will enter heaven?" while the coming one (2011/12), named "Whose city is it?", will concern public space and the city as a place for life. The themes relate not only to the choice of plays, but to the wider activity surrounding the theatre.