Ladislav Smoček

Cast: 15 men, 4 women

The play is set inside a house whose master dies in isolation. He’s not ruling there any more, and he almost fails to communicate with the things around him; and, in the end, he disappears in a mysterious and symbolical way. The disintegration, both environmental and existential, is expressed dramatically through a montage of fast coming entrances and exits, actions and reactions, fragments of lines, information and comments. The movement of the many small characters reminds of the ants swarming on the anthill. Each being has its particular inclination and interest. “UFOs, people travelling through the space, out of five they will stitch together a single one, but sometimes you have to have a proper goulash although you are a vegetarian.” This line by one of the characters in the play seems to encompass symbolically its theme. The universe, mysteries, scientific knowledge, intuition and goulash. The double character of human existence, an endless labyrinth of noble and low, of pride in the heights of intelligence; and of limits of the self same pride in the moments of confrontation with the opaque universe, with the cosmic existence which would be both futile and foolish to attempt to measure. The play questions all the ready made truths. It started eroding the anthropocentric myth and showing both moral and ecological devastation years ahead of the time of its writing (1970). The reviewers of the time mostly failed to appreciate both its timelessness and its musical composition. Moreover, the production and the play were both banned by the censorship of the normalization period soon after it premiered.

  The play is available in Czech original.