Venedikt Jerofejev


Tomáš Jirman

Direction and music selection: Tomáš Jirman
Translation: Leoš Suchařípa
Dramatisation and dramaturgy: Marek Pivovar 
Set and costumes: David Bazika


Venechka: Tomáš Jirman
Idiot, Satan, Angel, God: Jan Fišar
Darya, Angel: Renáta Klemensová
SHE, Grandson, Angel: Lada Bělašková
Mitrich, Semyonych, Sfinga, Angel: Janusz Klimsza
Clever person, Veteran, Angel: Petr Houska

Premiere: 26 May 2011Performance length: 95 minutes with no interval

Moscow – Petushki – This famous Russian novella (also known in English as Moscow to the End of the Line and Moscow Stations) has been called the “bible of Russian alcoholics”. It is a philosophical allegory that describes the story of the alcoholic Venya on his journey from Moscow to the recreational district of Petushki. Its frighteningly grotesque tone hide more than a sophisticatedly provocative description of a drunk man’s fate, however. At first sight the poem really is alcohol-soaked, with cheap vodka pouring from every page. However, gradually alcohol stops being a mere theme, and becomes the motor that drives not just the hero but the whole story forward. “The movement of the train is a secondary movement that gradually becomes something that is noticed only by the reader in the chapter headings. The hero got lost on the tracks way before, somewhere around the 105 kilometre mark. Moscow-Petushki is more than a book about alcohol; it is a book about changed vision as the result of alcohol, which deforms or merely transforms everything that comes into its field of vision. The capturing and description of reality as seen through this changed state of consciousness is also characteristic of other texts by Yerofeyev. (…) In addition to alcohol, the most frequent driver of the action is madness, as in the play Walpurgisnacht, or The Steps of the Commander, set in a psychiatric hospital, or the essay Vasily Rozanov Through the Eyes of an Eccentric, a dialogue between a hesitating suicidal person and the late 19th century-early 20th century philosopher Vasily Rozanov, a dialogue that stalls the suicide,” Alena Machoninová has written.

Tomáš Jirman (1956) – Studied acting at DAMU in Prague. He has worked in Olomouc, Šumperk and, since 1983, in the National Theatre of Moravia-Silesia in Ostrava, where he remains today. In 1988 – 2004 he also performed in the Music Theatre and in the Arena Chamber Theatre (Notes on Theatre, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, I Served the King of England, Continuous Blood Poisoning), additionally working there as a director (Chicken on a Spit, Goldoniada, May, Joke, Satire, Irony and Deeper Meaning etc.). As a director he has also worked in the Těšín Theatre, the National Theatre of Moravia-Silesia and Czech Radio. He has guest directed in the serials Adventures in Criminalistics, Police Tales and Guardians of Souls.

National Theatre of Moravia-Silesia – The largest and oldest professional theatre in the Moravian-Silesian region, and also the city of Ostrava’s largest cultural institution. It is one of the key centres of cultural, spiritual, intellectual and social life of the citizens of Ostrava and the broad surrounding area. It is the only institution in Moravia to have four artistic companies – opera, drama, ballet and operetta/musical, which perform regularly in two permanent theatres: in the Antonín Dvořák Theatre and the Jiří Myron Theatre. The broad repertoire of all four companies tries to address as wide an audience spectrum as possible, of all ages and interests. It features Czech and international classics, new discoveries and contemporary plays and experimental works and projects that often challenge genre boundaries. The theatre has been headed since 2010 by leading opera director Jiří Nekvasil.