FANTOMIMA / PHANTOMIME
Cast: 4 men, 1 woman
The smile of the Unknown from the Seine and a mysterious phantom of the motorways inspired the author to write a story about the aging opera star Anna and her professional driver Oscar, who on the morning of New Year's Eve runs her over on a bridge. Both are summoned, and an investigation begins which leads to Oscar being sentenced (although in the end Anna forgives him). Anna and Oscar are at times substituted by dummies - phantoms - which in everyday life teach people how to act in extreme situations (life-saving - Anna) or in simulating the consequences of a tragic accident (a crash - Oscar). The whole play is based on the opposite poles of these two possibilities: Anna cannot commit suicide, because she is destined for continual revival, Oscar can know nothing but death because he is continuously sent to it. The trial is led by the Prosecutor and the Defence who are more concerned with their own play between themselves than a matter of law, as though they demonstrated all the anonymous social mechanisms which are put in front of a person. The whole text and course of the trial are commented on by the philosophising guide, the Reader. His character generalises in aphoristic discourses, in the manner of the old moralities, the meaning of the events presented.
After a long time an original Czech play has emerged, written in a poetic language which is out of the ordinary, not intended for television. /.../ What we follow on stage is not so much a drama as a delicate pen drawing /.../ (Vladimír Just: Důvody k plesání? Úvahy postdivadelní, Literární noviny, 9. 2. 1995)
It is not only the materially topical theme, but above all the cultivated and rich language of Daniela Fischerová which makes this play a truly theatrical event. (Ivan Matějka: Tajnosti zmaru a vzkříšení, Hospodářské noviny, 17. 2. 1995)
The play is available in Czech original.