TRANSKY, BODY, VTEŘINY In the times of long-ago gods, heroic chiefs and psychopathic dictators, in a land wracked with unrest, a heroine was born. She was Zdena. A mighty princess strengthened with the glow of the Olympics. Spikes, passion, danger. Her courage will change the world. What does it matter that there is a dark moustache emerging from under her nose – the main thing is that she should break records on the running track. Soon she will become the darling of Czechoslovakia and the whole athletics world. But those she leaves behind her will start to probe the secrets of her success. This new play by Tomáš Dianiška was inspired by the scandalous fate of a Czechoslovak athlete whose sporting successes were erased from our modern history. The production won a Theatre Critics’ Award in 2019 in the Production of the Year category and First Performed Czech Play of the Year, while Jakub Burýšek won an award as Talent of the Year.
Dianiška is not attempting a realistic reconstruction of a life. His play is a peculiar cabaret, politically and socially set in pre-war Czechoslovakia. His grotesque way of viewing the world, his ability to cumulate bizarre details and his original ideas shift the production towards being a dark account of the intolerance and physical and psychological violence that a bad era is able to draw out of people. But there is also humour here, sometimes almost Cimrman-like in nature; the author’s fondness for playing with clichés works well when together with Zdena there runs a little Emil Zátopek, with whom no one can keep up. The jackpot of the production is Jakub Burýšek in the role of Zdena-Zdeněk, portraying authentically the character’s androgynous fragility, vulnerability and lability.
– JANA MACHALICKÁ, Lidové noviny
TOMÁŠ DIANIŠKA (1984) is the soul, organiser, main author and actor of the Divadlo F. X. Kalba, originally created as a “punk offshoot” of the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec. The F. X. Kalba Theatre ended up living its own life and became a cult “theatre clan”, closely connected with the Palmovka Theatre in Prague. Born in Banská Bystrica, at the age of 19 Dianiška left Slovakia for Prague, where in 2008 he graduated in acting from DAMU. He then started to work at the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec. Since September 2014 he has been a member of the acting company of the Palmovka Theatre. The PALM OFF Studio, the theatre’s studio stage, has shown several plays by Dianiška including 1000 Things that Piss Me Off (a theatre adaptation of the blog of the same name), The Silence of the Beavers, Let Donna Graduate! and Frankie the Armless. Tomáš Dianiška also acts in all the above plays. As well as the Palmovka Theatre, Tomáš Dianiška also works as both an author and actor with several other Prague theatres, including MeetFactory, Divadlo LETÍ, A Studio Rubín, Divadelní společnost Masopust, Chemické divadlo, Divadlo X10 and others. His play The Silence of the Beavers won a nomination in the Czech Theatre Critics’ Awards in 2016. In the same survey he also won the Talent of the Year award. In 2019 two of his plays were nominated for best Czech play of the year – Transky, body, vteřiny and also Frankie the Armless, which he co-authored with Igor Orozovič.
PETR BEZRUČ THEATRE in Ostrava is one of the artistically most distinctive theatres in the Czech Republic, as confirmed by numerous awards and positive audience receptions. The theatre’s repertoire is aimed above all at young audiences and all those who are not afraid of contemporary themes. The company has a much-awarded artistic team, and a number of actors who have appeared at the Bezruč have become well-known nationally (Richard Krajčo, Lucie Žáčková, Tereza Vilišová, Filip Čapka, Jan Plouhar, Tomáš Dastlík). The original dramaturgy includes modern takes on classic works, the dramatisation of interesting or “cult” works of literature and film, and, last but not least, works with a regional theme.