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Drama The Estates Theatre

The Makropulos Case

Karel Čapek, stage director Robert Wilson
Drama in czech language with english subtitles

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Information

Stage director: Robert Wilson
Sets: Robert Wilson
Costumes: Jacques Reynaud
Music: Aleš Březina
Assistant stage director: Ann-Christin Rommen
Light-designer: Robert Wilson, AJ Weissbard
Dramaturgy: Martin Urban

The enigmatic femme fatale Emilia Marty turns the life of everyone she meets on its head. Čapek’s fantasy comedy with a mysterious, almost detective-story plot takes us into the world of opera divas, the world of the degenerated aristocracy and bourgeoisie. The secret of longevity will be buried for good. The most famous of Čapek’s dystopian masterpieces will be treated by Robert Wilson, the world-renowned American director and set designer, who has already staged to great acclaim for the National Theatre Janáček’s Fate and in June 2010 the new production of Katya Kabanova. The lead role will be portrayed by Soňa Červená.

Photo: Lucie Jansch

Duration of the performance: 2 hours and 10 minutes, 1 intermission

The drama is staged in czech language and english surtitles are used in the performance.

“Clusters of upper- and lower- case letters glare intensively from a black area – meE Eme eeM Emm EM… In front of them marches a figure with a stick, other figures in glittering multi-hued tailcoats march past and skip behind him. Their pointed shoulders and tails resemble the shells of insects. The curtain with luminous letters rises and the figures become the protagonists of a play about an elixir by means of which it is possible to escape from time and gain immortality.

All the ensuing seconds and minutes of the latest Prague National Theatre production, in which the celebrated American stage director ‘sheds light’ on Karel Čapek’s play The Makropulos Case, are a feast for the eyes too. The ears as well. The actors’ movements are governed by strict choreography, their stylised gestures and utterances are precisely synchronised with the rhythm of the music composed by Aleš Březina and played ‘live’ by a trio placed in the orchestra pit. Subordinated to the music too are the continuous light transformations of the backdrop and stage. From the first to the final sequence, the current of sound, movement and light is elaborated to the tiniest detail. The artefact unwinding before us in time is aggressively beautiful. It is not a drama, it is not an opera, it is not a ballet, it is not a variable luminous graphic entity – it is all of them combined. A kinaesthetic universe pulsating on the stage.”

Bronislav Pražan, Týdeník rozhlas 11/2010

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This production is not performed at the present time.