D1 (working title)

Lukáš Brutovský


Lukáš Brutovský

D1 (WORKING TITLE) A myth about a motorway. Slovakia’s D1 motorway has been under construction since 1972. One day it is meant to join two capitals in two corners of the country: Bratislava and Košice. The D1 is not only a project that no one is capable of finishing, but a symbol of Sisyphean effort, an unfulfilled dream, endless and never satisfied desire, a romantic vision, a cultural and historical epic, a national myth, a metaphor for the Slovak character. The D1 is a space for political promises, visits by foreign stars and domestic bands when a section is being opened, a major provider of jobs, a bottomless pit for stealing material and money. And what will happen afterwards? When one day they manage to connect Bratislava and Košice? A general refurbishment of the whole route? The end of car dependency, determined by climate change? The victory of railway transport? Or some other entirely different form of transit?

The production is based on a text by director Lukáš Brutovský. A series of highly stylised monologues sums up the history of the motorway’s construction, with a characteristically ironic tone wrapped up in poetical language. In a space that from the start is throbbing with constant work and activity we see highly technical
manoeuvres alternating with dance numbers based on folklore and the majestic tones of Slovak classical music. A concentrated look at the Slovak character, in other words a theatrical poem in progress.

“ Brutovský is not only the director but the author of the text D1 (working title). It is this that is key to the whole production. The author not only acquaints us with the history of the endless process of the motorway’s construction, but reminds us of the various scandals connected to it. The text takes the form of a poetic monologue. There are also various metaphors, allusions and references to Slovak culture, politics and society, organically incorporated into an idiosyncratic
work. It is conceived of as a poetic essay, but the choice of words and formulations is reminiscent of biblical myths – stories of the life, creation, demise or essence of man, in this case of Slovak men and women. The main character then becomes a heart representing the Slovak nation. The D1 is then a symbol of all doubts and bad qualities, and of our ensuing disappointment. Brutovský thus brings a critical, ironic but highly apposite look at social and cultural events in this country.

“ Documentary-like directness and appellative semi-pathos takes a back seat here to imagery, poetry, and a peculiar language, almost like in Patrik Ouředník’s works. The text (of which the director is the author) is something of an associative stream of consciousness on the subject of the D1, filled with sad and ridiculous references to bigwigs, accordions, celebrities and scandals connected to the construction. Quotes alternate with metaphors, but the collage is universally
intelligible. “Schön hier zu sein,” the play features Claudia Schiffer saying for 3.6 million Slovak crowns.

LUKÁŠ BRUTOVSKÝ (1988) Studied directing and dramaturgy. Works as a director, translator and author – he won first place in the Drama 2009 competition for his play Lunch, and was nominated for discovery of the season and best direction of the season in the prestigious survey Dosky 2011. His first work on a
Czech stage was for the Kladno City Theatre (Banners in the Wind). He then drew attention with his production of Maryša at Brno’s HaDivadlo, for which he won the Divadelní noviny award. He has also worked at the Švanda Theatre in Prague (The Misanthrope), the National Theatre of Moravia-Silesia (Diary of My Father), the Petr Bezruč Theatre (PS: …Write Back!), the Prague City Theatres (The Hussite Trilogy) and most recently at the National Theatre Brno (The Doctor). He also directs at a number of Slovak theatres, with his production of Karvaš’ Midnight Mass at the Slovak National Theatre enjoying great success. Since 2015 he has been the artistic head of the Slovak Chamber Theatre in Martin.

THE SLOVAK CHAMBER THEATRE was created in 1944 as the second professional theatre in Slovakia. Unlike the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, it was not founded by decree from above, but grew up naturally out of the internal needs of the city and Slovak amateur actors. Throughout its history it has had a
significant influence on the formation of Slovak theatre. A number of distinguished actors have worked here, together with directors such as Andrej Bagar, Martin Hollý, Miloš Pietor, Peter Scherhaufer, Ľubomír Vajdička, Stanislav Párnický, Roman Polák, Matúš Oľha and Štefan Korenči. The theatre often performs at prestigious
festivals (Moscow, Belgrade, Toruń, Wrocław, Edinburgh, Skopje, Cividale, Zagreb, Expo 2000 Hannover, Cologne, Hradec Králové, Prague, Pilsen, Olomouc, Zlín, Nitra) and regularly gains various awards.