Jiří Stránský

Cast: 9 men, 4 women, some extras and voices off-stage

A starting point for this modern version of the Pied Piper is the archetypal model of a stranger coming to a specific well-defined community to purge it. To cleanse it not only from rats and cockroaches but also from hypocrisy and deceiving masks. The arrival of the Rat Catcher/Disinfestation Officer exposes suppressed emotions and exacerbates neighbourhood, love, professional and human relationships in the community. Stránský´s play is striving at portraying the contemporary Czech society, while also opening the issue of the Sudeten German transfer after WWII, ie. a problem that is still partially taboo for the Czechs. A mute man suddenly appears in cottage countryside of Northern Bohemia. The sound of his pipe destroys both caterpillars and rats in local gardens, but it also provokes a reaction from some of the locals. Where does he come from, the mysterious stranger whose voice appears from beyond the stage and not from his lips that remain tightly pressed together? He keeps handing out business cards claiming he´s just a disinfestation officer, yet his face is the same as that of old engravings of the Pied Piper of Hamelin or in the photographs from laboratories researching HIV or cancer. Some cottagers are fascinated; some are scared to death by his exceptional character and by his ability to discover hidden thoughts. It´s necessary to render harmless the dangerous alien...

  The play is available in Czech original.