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Divadlo DRAK

How Simple Honza Went Out into the World

Premiere: 9 November 2003

Script: Jakub Krofta, Zora Vondráčková | Director: Jakub Krofta | Design: Marek Zákostelecký | Music: Vratislav Šrámek | Cast: Redy Vávra, Milan Žďárský, Zdeněk Tesař, Roman Pěnička

Many fairy tales and stories have been written about Simple Honza or Czech Honza. I have read them all, there were 136 of them, and they have put together a theatrical fairy tale for you: about a boy whose parents who had fast and nimble hands, though he had a fast and nimble brain which his parents just didn't take any notice of. In most of the fairy tales about Honza his parents meddle into this young man’s life and so DRAK also took the point of departure contained in many of the fairy tales: the idea the parents have about the happiness of their child is based on the thought that the child will be wealthy, but the idea the child himself has about his happiness is usually different. And so for Honza to find his own happiness, he must go abroad and clash with a dragon in order to save a princess from being eaten. How does he defeat it? In a typically Czech way, though we won't give any more away...

Written about the Play

This new original production is a modern and, moreover, an even stronger generational extract of the classic Simple Honza tales, in which a magical old man (Krofta’s is more of a blatant swindler from the Orient), a castle lord, princess Leontýnka, a faithful dog and a dragon are all present. Honza (the excellent Redy Vávra), an artless and poetic soul, lives under the whip of pragmatic and quarrelsome parents, a puppet-sized model of Czech pettiness… This time Drak does not put its money on poetry and fantasy, but on an outspoken comedy with resolute dialogues, with exact puppet work and especially with music. Michal Malátný and his band Chinaski probably get the hiccoughs during every performance, since Vratislav Šrámek and lyricist Petr Pavel Procházka with Redy Vávra have written an excellent travesty on their pop-rock hits including the song Kutil (Handyman)… The puppet “labyrinth of the world and paradise of the heart” of the popular Czech outsider has a fine point – good-hearted Honza, even though he is not entirely fair in his fight with the Dragon, finds happiness in a poppy field with the liberated princess. Nobody is bickering there, nobody is scolding him, nobody is sending him anywhere for anything. A fairytale play, even though it lacks the multidimensional charge and unity of Krofta’s previous clowneries The Station House Mystery or The Little Angels, as if he was implying, with feeling between the lines, what the ironist Woody Allen once told his small niece in one of his films: “You don’t have to listen to what adults say, it is enough to just watch them carefully. That will tell you far more about life.”

Petr Mareček, MF DNES, February 2nd, 2004


Technical Conditions

d: 6m, w: 5m, h: 4m, blacked out, 3x230/400-32 A, The performance is meant for children 5 years and up.