Jan Vedral

Cast: 5 men, 3 women

The capture of the dictator Saddam Hussein was announced to the world in 2004 with the cry of relief "We Got him!". Four leading artists, the film directors Leni, Elia and Otakar and the sculptor of monuments Gerasim, who influenced mass aesthetics and the way reality is depicted artistically in the 20th century, are confined to a training base. The warders Lyndie and Granier subject them to mental terror, injuring the dignity of their age. We soon discover that this training is preparation for the new task with which the senile celebrities of mass art have been entrusted. As the shapers of public opinion, they have to propose a method by which the arrest of the dictator will be announced to the world and by which the dictator will be despatched from the world in such a way that his death will not arouse an inappropriate reaction. The artists, who each in their own way collaborated with one of the totalitarian powers of the 20th century and who were exploited, circumscribed and at the same time corrupted by the powerful, meet their tyrants again. In the proposed scenarios for the removal of the dictator they make use of all their knowledge of the 20th century and reconstruct the fall of Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Ceausescu and Pol Pot. However, the discourse about the power of demoralised art over confused reality does not offer satisfactory results. The captive dictator always has superiority over those who have served power in such a way that unrecognised and unforgiven guilt of the past has power over today. The conclusion degenerates into a grotesque slaughter. With references to the commonly experienced reality of the last century and to the false hopes of the present, the play is a reflection on the power of images over the freedom of our thinking.

  The play is available also in German translation.