Egon Luděk Tobiáš

Cast: 2 women, 5 men

Tobiáš’s totentanz on suicide is a variation on a motif from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It takes place in the time ”after“; Hamlet lies in a bath with bandaged wrists after a suicide attempt. From the formal point of view, Tobiáš reaches a rewind of the events of a play within a play. The actors are beginning to rehearse a new play, Solingen, in the theatre. The time of the play unwinds like a recollection, as insights and evocations of events. The story itself cannot be captured, faced with logical expression it shifts, emerges and disappears again. Whenever it begins to come into focus, the actors upset the scene and return to the rehearsal situation. The impressions of living played refrain-like by the characters are left in hints and suggestions. Inside a hospital environment the characters fall into baths and drop into invalid chairs. They are limited to Hamlet’s nearest and dearest (his sinning mother Gertrude, his ”father“ Claudius, the nervous Ophelia, taking on the Hamlet motif at the end of the play, and his friend Horatio). Scenes from the play Solingen and from rehearsals of the play alternate and gradually interpenetrate. The boundary between the play and playing the play is worn away. The refrain-like obsession of the characters collapses into rehearsal scenes. This way the awareness of the boundaries between the actor and the character too is dulled. Without explanations and judgements he captures the impressions of living in a sick world from the other shore. The characters lack firm ground under their feet, they start playing their anxiety, pain, aggression, rage and hysteria. They fence around each other by Solingen, they cut into themselves and around themselves.

  The play is available also in German and Russian translation.