The actors of the Brno National Theater performed a performance of Karel Čapek's play Mother, February 6, 2023 at the headquarters of the Israeli National Theater Habima in Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv – The performance of Karel Čapek's play Mother performed by the National Theater Brno (NdB) today at the headquarters of the Israeli National Theater Habima in Tel Aviv caused great excitement. The packed hall appreciated the guest appearance of the Brno theater actors with appreciative applause. They performed the production in Czech with Hebrew subtitles. Some of those present had tears in their eyes after the last scene, when a mother, hard-pressed by fate, sends the youngest of her five sons to war.
Tereza Groszmannová played the dramatic role of the mother, her tortured husband was played by Tomáš Šulaj. Pavel Čeněk Vaculík (Toni), Vojtěch Blahuta (Kornel), Viktor Kuzník (Petr), Roman Blumaier (Ondřej) and Martin Veselý (Jiří) performed as their sons.
“What I know about Israel's history is actually the history of constant self-defense and the fact that they have to put their lives on the line so that the culture and community can live here. And the grip of those who don't want it is terribly strong. Without telling anyone sided, so it's a history of conflict and a history of whether I'm going to stick it out and stand up for what's important to me. And it seems to me that by some sort of genetic change the summers of 1938 and 1968 made it as if we didn't believe in defending our values would be of any use. Because we have experience that it rather did not pay off,” Štěpán Pácl, the regular director of the NdB Plays, told ČTK. “Even during the tests, we had to allude to it in order to be credible and not play about an ideal that we ourselves don't believe in,” he added.
The Brno production offered up-to-date props, the original radio was replaced by satellite television, the plot brought references to left-wing and right-wing demonstrations, the blue helmets of UN peacekeepers and various modern weapons.
Habimy director Noam Semel welcomed the Czech ambassador to the stage of the Republic in Israel by Martin Stropnický. He pointed out that he is not only a politician but also an actor.
On its trip to Tel Aviv, the NdB Drama Theater will perform its successful production of Matka on February 7. The logistical side of the entire project required the efforts of many NdB employees. Among other things, despite strict security measures in Israel, they had to solve the problem of transporting replica weapons. The scenery, costumes and equipment were loaded into the container at the end of last year. The truck took the container to the German port of Bremerhaven and from there it sailed by ship to the Israeli port of Ashdod. The troupe and team of people needed to put on the show arrived last week.
The Brno adaptation premiered last year on April 8 at the Reduta Theater and has been sold out ever since. The collaboration between the two theaters will not end with two performances in Tel Aviv. In May, the ensemble of the Habima National Theater will bring the production The One My Soul Loves to Brno, which is an author's adaptation of the attack on a Tel Aviv business for the LGBT+ community in 2009. The performance will take place as part of the Theater World Brno festival, organized by the NdB.
Drama Matka is one of Čapek's anti-war works. It takes place in a kind of anonymous country, but it is strikingly reminiscent of Spain, where there was a civil war at the time of its creation. It premiered at the National Theater in Prague on February 12, 1938, directed by Karel Dostal. The main roles were played by Leopolda Dostalová and Zdeněk Štěpánek. Mother was first performed in Tel Aviv on December 3, 1939.
“The play is still so good today because it is not a poster. It is very important that it takes place in the family and misunderstandings occur between those who they are the closest to each other. This is hurtful, and at the same time there is a certain possibility of understanding that in the end they will find out what should be the right step,” noted director Pácl.