Czech authors only have been nominated for the Mark Ravenhill Award for the outstanding staging of new plays

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The Mark Ravenhill Award, initiated by the LETÍ Theatre ten years ago, is regularly handed out for the best performance of a contemporary play. The independent jury with eight professionals was supposed to choose among more than 70 productions, with four of them – written by Czech playwrights – being shortlisted: Frankie the Armless at the Pod Palmovkou Theatre, Transky, body, vteřiny at the Petr Bezruč Theatre in Ostrava, Don Quixote at the Goose on the String Theatre in Brno, and Hadry, kosti, kůže at the Švanda Theatre in Prague.

The Mark Ravenhill Award for the performance of a contemporary play is an acknowledgment for Czech authors for their undertakings in staging contemporary drama. A contemporary play is a play that was written within ten years before the respective award ceremony. The award-winning performance is chosen based on the consensus of the Board of the Mark Ravenhill Award, who pays attention to the symbiosis of a high-quality play and quality of the production. The board also monitors outputs of authorial or collective production, with the decisive points of the final text and its transferability outside the context of the specific production and poetics of the theatre it was written for.

Nominated performances:

Tomáš Dianiška, Igor Orozovič: Frankie the Armless, director: the company, staged by PalmOFF Studio (the small stage of the Pod Palmovkou Theatre, Praha)
"The life of František Filip, who managed to live a fuller life than many of us despite his physical disability, could become the topic of a touching Hollywood story about the invincibility of humans. Igor Orozovič and Tomáš Dianiška, who discovered the story for the studio of the Pod Palmovkou Theatre, interpret it vigorously with no sentiment, yet with a great deal of grotesque or black humor. This may (not) be the reason why the production of Frankie the Armless does not divest of any emotions. The credit goes to the company’s teamwork with Jakub Albrecht’s impressive performance.”
(Jitka Šotkovská)

Tomáš Dianiška: Transky, body, vteřiny, director: Tomáš Dianiška, staged by the Petr Bezruč Theatre in Ostrava
“Transky, body, vteřiny is a witty and provocative performance, based on the (willfully) forgotten episode in Czech sports history. The performance is narrated creatively, partly as a noir cabaret, in which the most escalated episodes from the athlete’s troubled life change into mounting tragicomic acts with drastically ironic points. Tomáš Dianiška is resourceful in playing with abridgments, can feel rather bizarre details he layers up and puts them together in a nearly grotesque depiction of the world right before the war. His humor does not seem to be dark in the first place, yet it slowly becomes dark under the influence of the state of the society, baffled intolerance, and pointless violence, with the “bad times” as a good opportunity, still being dark and admonitory.” (Luděk Horký)

Jan Mikulášek, Martin Sedláček: Don Quixote, director: Jan Mikulášek, staged by Goose on the String Theatre
"Don Quixote as a model drama! Jan Mikulášek’s and Martin Sládeček’s dialogue with Cervantes is not yet another forceful update of a classical text, but it provides space to a new original play, associated with the Quixote myth, dealing with blurred contours of the truth and facts in the post-factual times. The accurate directing trusts the text and let it be heard without succumbing to Mikulášek’s imagination. The remarkable flag production of the new artistic management at the Goose on the String Theatre." (David Košťák)

Pavel Jurda: Hadry, kosti, kůže, director: Martin Františák, staged by Švanda Theatre Praha
“The production Hadry, kosti, kůže vividly evokes the time and space of the coexistence of two outstanding and completely different 20th-century artists: national artists Jan Werich and Vladimír Holan. The topic of the play is the frustration of the Czech post-war culture from the regulated social-realistic art. Both main characters are depicted in the gesture of resistance, corresponding with their characters: Holan is intransigently negativist, Werich is privately pleasure-seeking. Pavel Jurda’s text discovers dramatic moments linked to outer conditions, but also their temperament. Thanks to the balanced ensemble teamwork, the performance manages to eschew judgmental clichés. Great performances of the protagonists (Miroslav Hanuš and Luboš Veselý) cannot do without female figures, who emphasize the depth of the tragedy of families as well as the depicted disparate coexistence. It is a uniquely deep and impressive performance, which thematically depicts the conflict between artists and the world.” (Alena Zemančíková)

Source: Letí Theatre

Photo: Tomáš Dianiška: Transky, body, vteřiny, staged by the Petr Bezruč Theatre in Ostrava