Viliam Klimáček

Genre: late-normalization tragedy
Cast: 4 men, 1 woman

As every year, Alena, a daughter of an active dissident, celebrates her birthday only in the circle of her closest relatives – her husband Michal, a former manager of the Czechoslovak Film and at the moment an archivist, and her son who is in his first year of medicine studies. After all, February in Bratislava belongs to the most awful months and the basic unit of society is – a socialistic family. Alena is preparing canapés with a garlic spread and pours wine bought at Tuzex. Michal is coming down from the roof of a block of flats where he spends most time and gives Alena a secretly smuggled washing powder Persil. However, on February 9, 1984, the Soviet General Secretary Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov dies and his funeral is broadcasted on TV the whole day. The Soviet Union mourns but Alena is supposed to lose a lot on that day. Nothing is going to be definite for her any more. How does it feel to sacrifice yourself for your family even though you need to swallow your pride? Is it possible to protect others when you get involved with totalitarianism? Does evil done with a good intention count? What is a person willing to give up for the others? Will somebody recognize the victim? There is no escape from the system.


Klimacek wrote this play for the theatre Arena in Bratislava as a third part of a trilogy reflecting recent Czech and Slovak history (Tiso, Dr. Gustav Husak).

  The play is available also in English, French and Hungarian translation.