The Lachende Bestien theatre group was formed during rehearsals of its first production, 120 Days of Freedom, dealing with limits of imagination and humanity and formally encompassing drama, demonstration and performance. It was followed by The Passion Play, a performance-happening, repeated every year at Easter. The group treated a more intimate theme – loneliness in the contemporay world – in a version of Kurt Vonnegut´s Slapstick, entitled Cries of the Nightjar. Lachende Bestien, founded in 2011, performed first at the Theatre on the Balustrade (Eliadova knihovna, Divadlo Na zábradlí), within the SPEK Association. Before leaving the Balustrade Theatre, it produced a fragment-happening of two plays by Shakespeare as a dialogue (Timon/Coriolanus). LB then joined the Kartel Platform, a loose association of three directors and their collaborators. Their productions took place at the Pilot Klub and at the Podnik. LB staged Kohlhaas Terror after the novel Michael Kohlhaas by Kleist, focusing on the themes of justice, legality and terrorism. In 2015 LB became the residential ensemble at the Venuše ve Švehlovce Theatre. After a series of „auteur“ projects, Pornogeography is the first production of a stage play, and also the first-time presentation of this text by Werner Schwab. LB advocates the idea of the theatre as a critical medium, provocative, socio-critical, political. It prefers to choose issues that are „in the air.“ The form of its productions is chosen with respect to the treated theme. Playership, demonstration, irony and detachment are the group´s principles. Michal Hába is the Artistic Director of LB. Lachende Bestien members also perform in the Horse and Motor Theatre (Divadlo koňa a motora), a travelling, social and community project, also a part of Kartel.
COALHOUSE RAGTIME HORROR TERROR FUNY SHOW
Written and directed by Michal Hába and collaborators
Music: Jindřich Čížek
Visuals: Marek Brožek
Costumes: Adriana Černá
Directorial supervision: Šimon Spišák
Stage demonstration: Michal Hába
Inspired by the novels Michael Kohlhaas by Heinrich von Kleist and Ragtime by E.L.Doctorow, the Kohlhaas Terror production, Kafka´s short story Outside the Law, Czech fairy-tale bandit Rumcajs, American popculture superheroes, and audience participation. A production combining the classical stage form, performance and staged demonstration on lofty themes of universal justice and its limits, difference between revenge and justice, legality and legitimacy, terrorist action and audience participation. Kohlhaas, a horse merchant, rides in the darkness of universal injustice to the ragtime tunes of Coalhouse Walker Jr.!
Play by Werner Schwab
Translated by Barbora Schnelle, Michal Hába
Directed by Michal Hába
Director´s Assistant : Anna Marie Maxera
Dramaturge: Lukáš Jiřička
Art Director: Antonín Šilar
Costumes: Adriana Černá
Music: Jindřich Čížek
With: Roman Zach/Jiří Konvalinka, Martin Pechlát, Lukáš Bouzek, Hynek Chmelař, Johana Schmidtmajerová, Marie Švestková, Adriana Máčiková-Kubištová, Jindřich Čížek
Josef Balvín Award Winner 2016 (Award for the best Czech production of a German play)
„You got to fuck…lick the dry ice from the neighbourly bodily universality, which must become a part of you just like natural alienation.“
The first-time Czech production of Pornogeography is a black-humour analysis of the morose and vicious bourgeois fascism of the characters, as well as a seethingly cynical report on their dreams, desires, and their surprising fulfillment. Schwab declared he was not interested in a theme but in the language, which was the theme for him. Director Hába comments: „When staging Schwab, one must not forget that the core of the text is in the distorted language, you cannot interpret merely the situation ort he theme, while especially today one cannot overlook the theme of latent or inner fascism, the situation when people in fear destroy anything that is different.“
Austrian playwright Werner Schwab (1958-1994), along with Peter Handke, Thomas Bernhard or Elfriede Jelinek, a provocative and uncompromisingly critical dramatist, is reputed for his poetic „texts-sculptures“, in which the text is an unstoppable avalanche of verbal „populodiarrhea“. In the Czech Republic, Schwab is related to the famous era of the Prague Comedy Theatre of Artistic Director Dušan D. Pařízek. Lachende Bestien continues in its footsteps: it employs some of the former Comedy actors and Michal Hába was assistant to director Pařízek.
THE PASSION PLAY
Directed by Michal Hába, Šimon Spišák
With: Adriana Máčiková Kubištová, Markéta Dvořáková, Marie Švestková, Šimon Spišák, Jesus of Nazareth
„Do you really love your neighbours as you love yourself? Would you have both cheeks slapped, if one is enough?“
Jesus accepted our invitation and he has decided to refute all untruths spread about him by his followers. Jesus will demonstrate a long jump into faith and back, and he will also perform his acrobatic act on the cross.
„The Kingdom of Heaven is coming, come and meet it.“
CRIES OF THE NIGHTJAR
Based on the novel Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut
Adapted and directed by: Michal Hába, Šimon Spišák
Music: Jindřich Čížek
With: Adriana Máčiková Kubištová, Marie Švestková, Michal Hába, Šimon Spišák, Lukáš Bouzek, Jindřich Čížek
The story of deserted cities and spiritual cannibalism and incest and loneliness and lack of love and death, and so on…It depicts me and my sisters as monsters, and so on… To whom it may interest.
The critically acknowledged Lachende Bestien production in collaboration with the Horse and Motor Theatre.
120 DAYS OF FREEDOM
After Marquis de Sade
Written and directed by Michal Hába, Šimon Spišák
Music: Jindřich Čížek
With: Adriana Máčiková Kubištová, Marie Švestková, Markéta Dvořáková, Michal Hába, Šimon Spišák, Lukáš Bouzek, Jindřich Čížek
„There is a latent pig in everyone.“
„What the hell,“ Curval said, „what are you doing, Duke?“
„I´m just fucking my own daughter, imagining she´s dead.“
„Damn, you rascal, you crave crime!“
„Let the devil take me,“ the Duke replied, „I want it to be true.“ His foul semen poured into Julia´s vagina and he asked Miss Duclos to carry on in her narration.
Written by: Michal Hába, Adriana Kubištová-Máčiková
Directed by: Michal Hába
Dramaturgy: Adriana Kubištová-Máčiková, Jan Kačena
Sets and video: Marek Brožek
Music: Vladimír Miláš, Dušan Černak
With: Adriana Máčiková-Kubištová, Marie Švestková, Michal Hába
I want my horses back, my beautiful, well-fed horses. Take them back, your skinny beasts, here´s your bravery and moderation, you wise guy. Was? Mande? What? These are not my horses. I wanted to be a law-abiding citizen, but it seems I´ll have to burn everything down.
LATEST PRODUCTIONS/Reviews, Interviews
Pornogeography Won the Josef Balvín Award!
The 2016 award for the best Czech production of a play written in German goes to Pornogeography!
Two peformances at the Prague Theatre Festival of German Language (Nov. 24 and 25).
Tyjátr: Love and secretions. Pornogeography opens the map of wet idioms
„Athough Pornogeography does not abound in directorial insults, it is a very controversial encounter. Not in terms of quality, in terms of the viewer´s experience. Schwab drowns in a world that is disgusting, sleazy and sticky to the touch. Translator and director describe this feeling of repulsion: „Schwab has liquidity in his text. He keeps bringing up bodily fluids. Although we chose a rather clearcut way, I enjoyed the presence of something „watery“. Schwab and the director turn the effort to have a perfect body or excel in sexual performance upside down. They show the lofty torso of people who are empty inside and decompose while still alive.“
More in Tyjátr/Radio Wave on Pornogeography
Jan Kerbr: Pornogeography (UNI Cultural Magazine)
Schwab´s grimace naturally attacks (also by numerous f-words) the Austrian bourgeois. The Czech bourgeois will no doubt never see this Lachende Bestien production and the audience at the Venuše Theatre responds to the inventively directed „provocation“ with great understanding. The core issue of both the play and the production lies in latent fascism, disturbingly combined with love of pornography. Hába builds the production in an interesting way leading to a culmination, despite a few static moments. The actors in a raw manner successfully present disarming spontaneity and outrageaous sensuality. Pechlát´s extraordinary performance also includes more subtle aspects, especially in showing insidious good-naturedness. Attractive sets by Antonín Šilar are based on gradual removal of huge drawings after each scene (peeling an onion).
A tv interview with Michal Hába, Lachende Bestien Artistic Director (Konfrontace Petra Fischera)
Pornogeography : TV QUEER MAGAZINE
(I-library of Czech Television)