A cynical school concert. With catharsis.
“The certainty that the world of tomorrow will be the same as today has burned.”
ADAPTATION Ondřej Novotný
DIRECTION, SCENIC DESIGN Ondřej Štefaňák
DRAMATURGY Lenka Havlíková
MUSIC Kryštof Blabla
COSTUMES Matilda Tlolková
PHOTOS Michal Kmínek
ASISTENT DIRECTOR Anna Marie Jarkovská
ASISTENT DRAMATURGE Kryštof Krejčí
STARRING Antonie Rašilovová, Lucie Roznětínská, Hynek Chmelař, Jan Bárta, Václav Marhold, Vojtěch Hrabák
PREMIERE 24 February 2023
A thirty-year-old teacher leaves the city which is too complicated, anonymous and overpriced for him. He tries to regain his physical well-being in a small village community where as he believes the good and the bad are still clearly discernible. He starts teaching a class of wilful, sad and curious children. But what should he teach them when the world is falling apart, when fields no longer yield, when wells drain out and the walls of school and other buildings are uncontrollably and unpredictably cracking? The idyllic countryside is no longer idyllic. Is there anything meaningful to do? Should one rake the leaves? Buy a new car? The burn out of a teacher transforms into an ungainly existential crisis of a contemporary intellectual. How can we get out of this?
The main character of Destruction is not a psychologically elaborated individual. He rather represents the collective desire to live in a cultured environment, to find justice, to have functional relationships and to be able to pass on the knowledge and experience to next generations. But he also reminds us of the uncertainty and fear, of the incapability to answer all the questions, of the situation when one fails oneself as well as the whole world. Destruction is the story of a contemporary Czech intellectual and all his rigmaroles; the story unmasks the reasons of the human endeavour to actively participate in the social life, the reasons of resignation and apathy, the construction of the ivory towers and reinforcement of the social bubbles.
The novel Destruction gained the prestigious Magnesia Litera prize in 2022. It is the third book of the sociologist and publicist Stanislav Biler (1982). The jury particularly liked the grotesque, apocalyptic dimension of the novel, its humanistic overlap but also its humour and playfulness. Just like the books of other contemporary writers, the novel draws upon the topic of the divided society, escapism, returns and climate crisis and yet, it offers a very particular viewpoint and poetics. The play Destruction doesn’t moralise, doesn’t sink into melancholy and limited aesthetic seriousness. On the contrary, it purposefully shows off, it absurdly runs around in circles, it offers ironic comments. Destruction doesn’t present any solution to the serious problems concerning the environment or politics. But it enables the audience to laugh at everything, at everyone – and especially at themselves – to chaste and offend, to mock and therefore to set themselves free from the never-ending quest to take a firm stand as a good citizen and to find the meaning of life.