Why does the noble idea of an integrated Europe, an idea dating back to the late Middle Ages, so often meet with such criticism? Is it possible to try to create a bond between the individual European states with all their differences? How are these differences perceived by different generations? What is it that binds us anyway? These and many more questions were asked at the start of the project Generational Icons, which was initiated by Theatre Letí and the Centre for Contemporary Drama in Prague.
LegalAliens is very excited to bring the Generational Icons project for the first time across the channel in collaboration with RADA Graduate New Writing Workshop. As a company our goal from the start has been to foster new European writing in translation and to forge synergies with international companies in order to create a shared platform. The United Kingdom is bedrock of new writing, a country with a strong tradition of playwrights, with numerous new writing initiatives as well as university courses all over the country. We hope to convey the local as well as the global nature of the themes negotiated by the three continental playwrights.
The main aim of Generational Icons is a direct confrontation between individual nationalities, generations and cultural contexts. The result is three plays from three countries – Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria – by three different generations of playwrights. Although different in form, ranging from the more traditional dramatic form to postdramatic theatre, all three plays reflect the current social-political and economic environment. Both the Czech Poker Face by Petr Kolečko, and the Slovak ‘Kill Hill ™’, by Villam Klimáček deal with the theme of money and games. Money and the freedom that money can bring are connected with games (virtual reality for Klimáček and poker for Kolečko). Both plays deal with the loss of ideals and disillusionment which ensued the arrival of the capitalist and pragmatic social system after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. iPlay by Bernard Studler is a collage where poetry, humour, and politics blend.
As usual LegalAliens has put together an international cast of actors performing in English. These aren’t “readings” in the traditional term as the plays aren’t traditional texts. Kill Hill is effectively a video game, and the actors are moving around like characters in a game. Poker face also features movements, videos and audio contributions. Here are some pics:
The readings were curated by Czech Dramaturg Eva Danickova and directed by Becka McFadden.