Sun / 9 / 6 / 24
18:00 – 19:50
K. Spišák Old Theatre in Nitra 
> Great hall

in Slovak with English surtitle. 

Public Q&A with the production team is held after the performance.

Ludus Theatre, Bratislava, SLOVAKIA

Based on the novel Histoire de la violence by Édouard Louis


directed by: Barbora Chovancová

Based on the novel Histoire de la violence by Édouard Louis
Copyright © 2016, Édouard Louis
All rights reserved.
First published by Editions du Seuil in 2016.

The French novelist Édouard Louis is one of the greatest discoveries of contemporary European literature. His signature style makes his works highly popular among theatre aficionados. The History of Violence by the Bratislava-based Ludus Theatre is the first adaptation of Louis’ text History of Violence in a professional theatre in Slovakia. The production presents Louis’ authentic experience of being assaulted and raped in Paris. The very encounter of man with violence is only one level of the production. The fact has already happened and it cannot be changed. The production looks at what preceded the act and what followed. The creative team slowly unravel the story, trying to comprehend, inter alia, what leads one to commit violence against another person. They explore the motivations of rapist, along with the influences of the context. Yet, they deal with the situation from the opposite point of view. They ask about what it is like to admit to being a crime victim. How not to get lost in a story that you must repeat over and over again, in front of the police, doctors, relatives. Ludus Theatre features at Divadelná Nitra for the first time.

translation: Andrea Černáková
libreto: Barbora Chovancová, Martin Kubran
direction: Barbora Chovancová
dramaturgy: Martin Kubran
set and costume design: Anna Chrtková
light design: Michaela Beniač
music and sound design: Daniel Šimek
artistic collaboration: Daniela Mesárošová
choreographic collaboration: Daniel Raček
technical collaboration: Eduard Mikuš, Michaela Beniač
performed by: Tadeáš Bolo, Marián Chalány, Alexandra Palatínusová, Jakub Švec

Barbora Chovancová

She directed at the Olomouc-based theatre Divadlo na cucky, the Theatre Letí in Prague, and in Brno-based theatres Fest, the Marta Studio and the Experimental Theatre Centre. For several years she is programme manager and director at the Ludus Theatre in Bratislava. She attended Summer Camp in Nowy Teatr in Warsaw (with the art collective She She Pop, Prodromos Tsinikoris and Culture for Climate). She participated in the platform Scena Nowej Dramaturgii in Rzeszów, Poland. Ms Chovancová also worked in the editorial office of Zpravodaj Divadelní Flory Olomouc. She focuses particularly on adaptation non-dramatic texts and the contemporary world literature.

In A History of Certain Violence, his [Louis’] narration resembles an investigative file, at other times he describes in detail all the sensations. The sound the woolen scarf made when the rapist tried to strangle him, or the smell of the laundry he inhaled while being raped.
It’s almost never quiet. Just as Louis’ novel is an endless flow of thoughts, memories and sensations, the cast are constantly talking. In the flood of words, they complement each other, repeat, speak like an echo, interrupt each other, correct their words. Words pour out of the mouths of all cast, intertwining, describing details, thoughts.

Soňa Jánošová: He received such a hard upbringing that he lost the instinct of self-preservation. It was easy to invite a rapist. In Sme, 14 September 2023


On the contrary, the production team effectively and purposefully identified and processed the fact that one’s statement here is not merely a means of retelling the story, but also the theme of the original text. As a result, one of the most characteristic features of the production is the purposefulness of every sign used, be it a word, an artistic element or an actor’s interpretation.
The movement passage in the final part of the production is definitely worth paying attention to. Basically, it is a reconstruction of the fight between Eddy and Red through the elements of physical theatre. In the context of the whole, this part works for several reasons. For one, it represents another way of capturing the physical conflict between the characters. In addition to the verbal description, exact forensic and legal actions, we see a way of capturing the whole situation in a more abstract form … The physical dialogue of two (largely exposed) male bodies has an effective effect. Balancing the passion in both the love-making and the violent dimensions is ultimately rewarding material for this type of portrayal.

Miro Zwiefelhofer: Statement and documentation. In Monitoring divadiel na Slovensku. Available at: https://monitoringdivadiel.sk/vypoved-a-dokumentacia/