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We dared all sorts of things but still it is Havel

November 1, 2011


(Jáchym Topol's interview with the member of Buchty a loutky ensemble, Vít Brukner)

I met Vít Brukner with colleagues from Buchty a loutky (Cakes and Puppets) in the middle of the rehearsal of Mountain Hotel. Because it is this Václav Havel’s play what the Theatre chose for its unique and unrepeatable performance. The "Cakes" will perform the play in Montmartre Gallery in Prague’s Řetězová street this Friday, that is, on 4th November.

Vítek, weren’t you tied by fear and reverential awe for the work of the contemporary giant, classical writer Václav Havel?

Sure we were. Only rarely we have the opportunity to work with a text intended for dramatic performance. And just today I've learnt that Václav Havel does not allow actors to change his texts. He hates it! This information sent shivers down my spine. But we've got his approval for one performance - the one on Friday. What will be next, we don’t know.

How did you get to Mountain Hotel?

We found out that we still enjoy reading just this particular piece, it is bursting with ideas. Somebody would call it a retro, but this is nonsense, it’s a living thing. And for those ideas we began to enjoy the work tremendously. Moreover, because we love the play, I am convinced that it will be interesting also for people who are not used to such interpretation of Havel.

Will your Havel still be Havel?

Mountain Hotel is of course meant to be played by actual people, so puppets, funny and comic in themselves, only emphasise the Havel-type absurdity, which is the drive of the text. And naturally, we bring into action our own means of expression, the playfulness and colourfulness of a puppet theatre. For example, we take advantage of Havel’s punctilious directorial notes in such way that it is actually the narrator guiding the play. Besides, we employed electric toy trains and also a keyboard from the seventies playing the melody from Doctor Zhivago prescribed by the playwright... We dared all sorts of things, but still it is Havel. You will see.

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