Some Messages to the Universe
Wolfram Lotz’s play asks the basic questions of the meaning of life and the desire of leaving some mark in the world. In the Beckett style time and space continuum there is a heterogeneous group of characters who send their messages to the universum in the deep Universe.
In Jan Horak and Michal Pechoucek’s direction the Lotz’s text is edited and it changes into an internal conflict of a sole character whose presence on the stage is only anticipated. The viewers’ focus is on the illusive style of the character’s world and the theatre play itself. The dramatic character is at stake as the story goes and there are characters appearing and then disappearing as if in the dream. Is it possible to escape the archetypal clash of the good and the evil? Or is it possible to anonymously deny the definiteness of human despair which is the main varied theme in this play? There is feminine and therefore intensified view of pain and desire in this play. Human or more specifically “her” life is a tragicomic and shy attempt without any backing. The dimension greater than the human shapes into a mythical but vulgar host of a TV show. Everything including the birth and death, the beginning and end of the play, is trivialized in the play. Everything is a memory and it is very entangled. It is a memory of a possible quality of the human existence, of the beginning and end of a story.
Studio Hrdinů´s established directing duo has managed to connect the plot, despite Lotz´s unconnectable text, which it was almost utterly successful in contending with. Horák and Pěchouček worked with a certain degree of looseness, one not exactly characteristic of their previous productions. It´s as if, instead of “making art,” they decided to play and avoid simple image-making. They successfully balance entertainment and gravity. The cuts between the actors being in character and stepping out of character are relaxed. With utter lightness, the directors manage to fuse the mundane with the eternal: the spectators experience the knowledge of cosmic and profound solitude only tangentially. And they are better for it.
Pěchouček and Horák (and their excellent actors, of course) have managed give us a production, the incomprehensibility of which is theatrically self-contained, and, in the broadest sense, entertaining. In other words: It´s a show which is a pleasure to watch, even when we don´t quite rationally understand what´s happening on stage.
Some Messages to the Universe is an inspiring and strong production, the resonance of which will likely depend, from show to show, on an appropriate constellation of, and understanding between, the performers and the audience. On the part of the performers, there lies an advantage in a well-directed and well-chosen cast (…), in harmony with the music of Dominik Gajarský and with special attention to the text. On the part of the audience, there will be a need for a bit of active collaboration and a willingness to think. But that´s nothing unusual at Studio Hrdinů.
Radmila Hrdinová, Právo, September 15th, 2017