Slovak National Theatre – Drama, SLOVAKIA
directed by: Rastislav Ballek
The brilliant cast of the of the Slovak National Theatre (SND) Drama Company to visit Nitra! Virtually us who attended Slovak school know Gotham City from. Yet, the SND Drama Company production presents a wholly new and unconventional view take on this Slovak classic. Ever since its première, the production stirs a range of conflicting emotions in spectators. Made to mark the 30th anniversary of the Slovakia’s independence, the production speaks to us in contemporary stage language. Productions directed by Rastislav Ballek, stage director with a distinctive and powerful signature style and the courage to comment on our society through iconic works, are among the most frequently featured at Divadelná Nitra. The current Festival edition brings the comic universe of Gotham City in a new format: the bride waits in vain for the groom and the author hits the limits of the era. Chalupka’s play is the source of a series of archetypes reflecting the story of Slovakia, an acute effort to form its identity and simultaneously to define the shadow that we earnestly and sincerely try to overcome. Perhaps that is why Chalupka appears on stage and steps out of the anonymity of the observer. He becomes a commentator, an actor playing his Gotham City. Director Rastislav Ballek and the dramaturge Peter Pavlac connected the work with other Chalupka texts. It is th every personality of Ján Chalupka that is the key to the interpretation of his work. Ballek’s Gotham City is not a free-spirited chill-out song or a classic dusted-off the shelf. The production combines film farce, folk comedy, a variety show from the 1970s with a disco ball, and final monodrama, where the German noblewoman Babetta von Wieland, Chalupka’s unrequited love, reads from their letters. Is your head is spinning after reading the description? Don’t miss the experience of the unique show that happens even if you don’t understand all of it. That is indeed the prerequisite for definitely not being bored.
concept and script: Rastislav Ballek, Peter Pavlac
directed by: Rastislav Ballek
dramaturgy: Peter Pavlac
set design: Michal Lošonský
costumes design: Katarína Holková
music: Róbert Mankovecký
choreographic collaboration: Stanislava Vlčeková
performers: Anežka Petrová, Robert Roth, Ondrej Kovaľ, Martin Šalacha, Roman Poláčik, Gregor Hološka, Jakub Rybárik, Michal Noga
Rastislav Ballek (1971) studied philosophy and sociology at the Faculty of Arts of the Comenius University in Bratislava, and graduated from the Department of Stage Directing at the Academy of Performing Arts (VŠMU) in Bratislava. His student directing and stage adaptations of Slovak classics (Departure from Bratislava, Weirdos) were well received at home and abroad. In 1999–2001 he was stage director at the SNP Theatre in the city of Martin (currently the Slovak Chamber Theatre). In 2001–2005 he was stage director with The Alexander Duchnovič Theatre in Prešov, in 2002-2009 stage director and artistic director of the City Theatre in Žilina. In 2006, he began to work closely with Bratislava-based Theatre Aréna, where he also created the cult author’s production Tiso (2005) and directed productions Kukura (2011), Holocaust (2012) or Rosmersholm (2013). He is the laureate of numerous awards of the prestigious Dosky critics poll in several categories.