Middletown

Will Eno

J. K. TYL THEATRE

Marek Němec

MIDDLETOWN Mrs Swanson, John Dodge, Policeman, Mechanic, Librarian, Astronaut… The lives of the odd people from the little town of Middletown. From a little town on the fringes of interest, just like each of its inhabitants. They each bear their own tragicomic story that is gradually revealed. The microworld of the small town forms a metaphorical parallel to the whole universe. A fragile yet harsh, poetic but also comic story of loneliness and failure to connect that sends shivers down the spine. The play’s author won the Horton Foot award for a new and promising American play. It premiered in November 2011 in the New York off-Broadway Vineyard Theatre.

A play about the first and last things of man. The actors may approach it both ironically and dramatically. In Mark Němec’s guest direction the theatre is of the second type (…) Over an area of 40 square metres we have three flats, effectively demarcated using phosphorescent wire, filled with furniture and a bookshelf. Mrs Swanson, played by Zuzka Ščerbová, lives in the left-hand flat, opposite her lives John – Jarda Matějka and closest to the audience is the domain of librarian Klára Krejsová. Zuzana is precise, economical in her gestures and speech. Jarda is typical in his repetition, interruption and contradiction. Maybe, I don’t think so, no. It is the speech of a psychotic person who has a problem with himself. If the audience laughed, it was here (…) Klára Krejsová’s kind librarian is a delight, while Matyáš Darnady constructs, with precision, a remarkable performance as the mechanic racked by drugs, demons and alcohol. Further characters have taken up residence in the small town in a fairly natural way (…) at the end everyone is able to sing about how when some people leave us, others come.
– ROMAN MILER, i-divadlo.cz

WILL ENO (1965) lives in Brooklyn in New York. In addition to six original plays he has also written an adaptation of Peer Gynt entitled Gnit. Most of his plays were first performed in Britain, but in recent years he has also had successes at home. He has received several literary fellowships, and his play The Flu Season won the Oppenheimer Award for the best American debut. His play Thom Pain (based on nothing) reached the finals of the Pulitzer Prize in the drama category in 2005. His plays have been shown by theatres in Britain – the Gate Theatre, the SOHO Theatre, and BBC Radio in London, in the US by the Rude Mechanicals Theater Company, the Satori Group (Seattle), the Flea Theatre, NY Power Company and Naked Angels (NYC), Circle-X (Los Angeles), the Cutting Ball Theater (San Francisco); in Paris (Quebracho Théâtre); and also in Berlin, Sydney and São Paulo.

MAREK NĚMEC (1981) Actor and theatre director who graduated in acting from DAMU. In 2005-2010 he was engaged at the Činoherní studio in Ústí nad Labem, and he also works with the Theatre in Dlouhá and the Theatre in Celetná. He currently teaches acting in the drama department of DAMU. He has also played a number of television and film roles. In addition to acting he is also a theatre director, his first production being Terminus at the Theatre in Celetná (the production was selected for the main programme of the Divadlo festival in Pilsen in 2014). In 2013 he was nominated for an Alfréd Radok Award in the category Talent of the Year. Middletown is the third time he has directed Pilsen actors.

The J. K. TYL THEATRE consists of four artistic companies that between them show 500 drama, opera, operetta, musical and ballet performances a year. The theatre aims for a varied and genre-balanced repertoire that includes new Czech and foreign plays. With over a hundred years of history, artistic activity and a number of other activities it is among the distinguished theatres not only of the region of West Bohemia.