HOLKY ELKY / THE ELLE GIRLS (2005)
Cast: 4 women
Evald Schorm Award for the Best Play 2005.
The play by a young playwright Radmila Adamová (from 2005), in its first part very humouredly but in the second rather more sharply, uncovers the influence of media manipulation on the beliefs, behaviour and sentiment of women. It shows the vicious circle of the commercialized and consumer society in which objectionable behaviour is projected from one generation onto another.
In the first part of the play, the photo models Ela 1, Ela 2 a Ela 3 are waiting in the studio for their photo shoots. They do not know that all three of them will get the job, so in turns they try to “destroy the rival” mentally as well as physically whereas they do not shrink from going to extremes. Their sometimes almost absurd dialogues are written unusually wittily. Although they keep trying to impress, crucial problems of two of them gradually start to reveal. Ela 1 has health problems while Ela 2 is about to have an interruption. After a long wait the shooting is to begin. They are standing by a white wall in overalls, their faces cannot be seen behind their hoods, they are holding hands and their legs are astride. On each one of them there is a letter. Together it says Ele.
The second part takes place in Ela 3’s small flat in the evening of the same day. When her paralysed wheelchair-bound mother is unexpectedly brought in for a visit by the nurse Agata, Ela 3’s “life truth” unveils. Already as a girl used to being sold by her mother to various advertising campaigns, manipulated, trained up only to be able to catch the fancy of the others, she exercises the same models of behaviour in her adulthood. It manifests itself not only in the relationship with her agent, to whom Ela 3 belongs, but also in the relationship with her own mother. She herself suffers from the way she brought up her daughter. Ela 3 needs to win a “prestigious campaign”, so she throws her dying mother ruthlessly out of the flat.
The play can very well be staged with four actresses playing more than one part. In this case, it offers very nice, well-balanced acting opportunities for four young actresses.
„Girls Elkas, written for four actresses and striving to express an opinion of the current world of a modern woman, which is governed by modelling, passing ideal of beauty, perfection, success and Utopia proclaimed by glossy magazines, is truly a well-written play successful in its shocking transformation of perspective between its two parts.
Petr Christov (Theatre News, 27. 6. 2006)
The play is available also in English and German translation.