Havel Writes to Dr. Husák


Identity 4

New circus.

Language barrier-free performance. An hour long circus of Communism.

The former President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, Václav Havel, has belonged to the most prominent humanist intellectuals over the last decades. His artistic use of language made him one of the most important European playwrights of the 1960s and 1970s. He formulated his ideas and views in dramas as well as in other published documents, such as in his letter to Gustáv Husák (the former President of Communist Czechoslovakia) which he wrote on 8 March 1975 and which became one of the fundamental documents of the Czechoslovak dissent.

The letter is an accurate analysis of fear, disinterestedness, selfishness, hypocrisy and humiliation of people in a Communist society. But most of all, it is about the unbelievable ability of Czech to let them be manipulated.

The performance combines action and circus sketches with excerpts from Havel’s letter and it asks along with the author:

“What profound intellectual and moral impotence will the nation suffer tomorrow, following the castration of its culture today?”

Cast: Jan Grundman, Pavel Gajdoš
Director: Jiří Honzírek
Text: Václav Havel
Stage design: Lucie Labajová
Lighting: Václav Kuropata
Sound: David Velčovský
Production: Národní divadlo Brno, Klára Mišunová

Première 8 January 2009