Eyewitness

You can create your own version of the events. Let the story lead you...

The play Eyewitness, based on documentary evidence and formally inspired by the Ancient Greek drama, was originally scheduled for this winter. The play is based on a historical event that happened in 1945 and focuses on the phenomenon of an “eyewitness” – a person who comes to the stage to narrate what happened at the backstage, which is indeed the concept of the Ancient Greek drama.

The well documented event took place just after the end of WWII. Two transports met at a railway station, one carrying Carpathian Germans, Hungarians, and Slovaks displaced to Sudetenland during WWII and returning to their hometowns, the other carrying soldiers. The meeting ended up in a mass murder of 265 returnees, most victims being women and children. The witness (a silent and in many cases active one) were the village of Lověšice and its citizens. Another dramatic circumstance is the investigation of the incident and the numerous maintained eyewitness testimonies and other documents.

The actors and actresses of the NT Drama as well as several guests have provided their faces and voices to dozens of witnesses, whose testimonies shall serve as an open playground for the audience. We have captured authentic witness testimonies on camera in the form similar to Skype or Zoom calls. We hope that the number of simultaneous, yet absolutely contradictory statements will attract the audience to watch them on their computers and try to reconstruct the story from the provided fragments.

An old story narrated through modern visual technologies, old documents brought to life – and still bringing the same horrific testimony…

Audience: adult, children 16+

THE NATIONAL THEATRE DRAMA PRAGUE is the biggest company of its ilk in the Czech Republic. In the pre-covid times, our company gave seven to eight first nights a year, while also pursuing a host of accompanying activities and educational programmes . We also offer critical writing courses and playwriting classes. We aim to make the National Theatre an open and vigorous institution. While keeping in mind that contemporary theatre should preserve the cultural legacy of the Czech lands, at the same time, it must afford scope for vivid gatherings, and thus naturally respond to the current social issues.

Theatre Outside Theatre.
While theatres have been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NT Drama searches for ways how to respond to the current situation and perform outside theatres. “Traditional theatre” is inconceivable without life performances and immediate contact with the audience, but is there any decent alternative? Is it possible to record a performance and still keep the spirit of theatre?

A play that is to be transformed into another medium must be “reinvented”: we take the stage performance as the basis but try to find a visual or acoustic expression that would communicate with the audience almost like if they were sitting in the theatre. On the other hand, we take it as an opportunity to break through the limits of the stage and create a riveting show outside the theatre building.

This is the essence of the “Theatre Outside Theatre” project: new experience, new theatre.

Theatre / company

National Theatre Drama Prague / Činohra Národního divadla Praha

Czech title

Očitý svědek

Author

Jiří Havelka

Direction

Jiří Havelka

Music

Martin Tvrdý

Dramaturgy

Marta Ljubková

Stage design

Martin Černý

Costume design

Andrea Králová

Length of the performance

60 minutes

Language

Czech , Subtitles available

Audience

Adult , Children

Contact

Daniela Pařízková
daniela.parizkova@gmail.com