Jozef Gregor Tajovský Theatre, Zvolen, SLOVENSKO
réžia: Peter Palik
This powerful script was penned by prominent Slovak dramatist Peter Karvaš, a native of Banská Bystrica, and 2020 marks the 100. anniversary of his birth and equally one hundred years of Slovak professional theatre.
Set in the momentous year of 1944, the play poses fundamental questions about conscience and the age. Its story unfolds on Christmas of 1944 and turns the spotlight on the attitudes of ordinary people to the climactic events of late World War II. The Kubiš family are scrupulous to their children and pay due attention to all customs and traditions. But under the surface, the household quakes: the youngest son had joined the partisans, the older is a Guardsman, and the daughter an Aryaniser, sharing the Christmas table with a Nazi and a Communist bride-to-be. The situation on the battlefield grows uncertain, and the moment looms when one of the family members will have to be sacrificed. What will they confess after Mass at midnight? Midnight Mass explores the hidden secrets of a seemingly ordered family struggling for existence and identity during a turbulent historic period that also makes for an idiosyncratic metaphor of the nation as a whole. This gripping drama loses none of its relevance today.
directed by: Peter Palik
set design: Peter Palik
costume design: Eva Farkašová
music: Martin Geišberg, Daniel Špiner
dramaturgy: Ján Chalupka
choreographical co-operation: Petr Nůsek
cast: Vladimír Rohoň, Jana Pilzová, Ondřej Daniš, Marek Rozkoš, Barbora Špániková, Richard Sanitra, Mária Knoppová, Michal Ďuriš, Ján Marcinek, Michal Ďurík
Peter Palik (1979)
graduated in environmental education from the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica and in puppet theatre directing and dramaturgy from the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. He was dramaturge at the Puppet Theatre Žilina and in-house director at Spiš Theatre. He co-founded Bábková Žilina Puppet Theatre Festival. He has had dramaturgical and directorial engagements in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Hungary, and at the Radio and Television of Slovakia. He has authored over thirty theatre plays, theatrical adaptations and several books for children. He lectures at the Department of Puppeteering of the Theatre Faculty, Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. He has garnered a number of prestigious awards in Slovakia and abroad. His productions have been staged at international theatre festivals in China, Russia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Bulgaria and the Ukraine. Since May 2020 he is artistic director at the Jozef Gregor Tajovský Theatre in Zvolen.
“Sham morality during the dramatic events of the Second World War is the central subject of this play’s sensitive storyline. The mathematically precise theatrical probe into the intimate world of its characters, their mutual relationships and then contemporary society is authentic, timeless, but also deeply humanistic. … The chilling story takes place during Christmas Eve of 1944, when the table of Valentín Kubiš swings back and forth between moments of much-desired peace and extreme tension. The period’s atmosphere suggests parallels with present-day conflicts of value, exposing ideas and movements malignant for today’s democratic and civil society in the Central European region.”
(J. Chalupka – Ľ. Mojžišová, My Zvolen, 19 Sep 2020)