HUGO

Miroslav Bambušek

Cast: 2 women, 2 men, gypsy chorus

The author describes the mood of the dramatic miniature as “dramatic disgruntlement”. He chooses a special rhythm for it, when scenes written without stage directions and in curt rejoinders alternate with passages from the Biblical Psalms sung by a gypsy choir in French. The recitation of Psalms celebrating God the Creator, his work Man, and God’s Justice, function as counterpoint to the behaviour of the characters in the play. Right at the beginning we are standing in the darkened corner of a room with the Mother, witnesses to sexual intercourse between the Father and the Daughter. However, this degeneracy is only the first small link in a chain of horrors accumulated in the family’s past, which are revealed by the lost son Hugo. Seven years ago he fled from his cage of a home to Africa, where as a Roma he became close to “his brothers”. However, the native black race dies out from plague and Hugo, sick himself, returns from the black continent to “white” Europe. He finds his sister Anna in a very wretched state.  The white Father kept his adopted daughter deliberately isolated from the outside world and education, to make it easier for him to abuse her sexually. And the Mother, unclassifiable into most of white society, he hurls first into the institute stove before in the end incinerating her in the cellar of his own home. However, the siblings, whose instincts have not yet degenerated, still feel the evil in the house, and Hugo prepares vengeance. Feigning reconciliation, he invites the Father to the pub under the Christmas Tree, a symbol of the white Christian Christmas, and serves him meat “of three colours”: the Mother’s, Anna’s and Hugo’s. The Father runs away and at the end of the play Hugo remains alone. Although at the end of his strength, he begs for a definitive death. It is typical of Bambušek’s victims, for whom death is not a sweet falling into unconsciousness, but only an unending pain, because it is not possible to forget the cycle of horrors and wrongs of life

  The play is available in Czech original.


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