Dealer’s Choice / Patrick Marber
The dealer rules
…Pokorný’s direction dances on the edge, sharpens relationships and situations and keeps everything in a state of constant uneasiness. Everyone is constantly on edge, helping themselves from this with irony and invective that they don’t mean seriously. They’re basically dependant on each other, but it’s a wild emotional pathology. In the second part of the play, they play poker. Despite the use of technical terms, this part is far from dry. On the contrary, the direction excellently highlights the individual characters, using them to shift the plot to absurd and far-out places. Players jump up like bottle-corks and fall to the depths of their frustrated hopes. Only Trojan’s Ash keeps a real poker face...
I won’t give away the ending, but it is an entirely logical confirmation of what the play’s been about all the time: an excellent and unusual ensemble, dealing with it with empathy, panache and unassuming sensitivity, none of which was created only for this staging; that’s cultivating your style.
Jana Machalická, Lidové noviny
…There’s no point in describing all the situations and gags, nor to specifically praise any individual performances or aspects. It’s the ensemble that’s important, as well as mutual inspiration and, mainly, the comedic quality with which all the actors are imbued.
They are helped by Dana Hábová’s excellent translation, which uses a number of humorous card-playing slang and neologisms and a sharp rhythm, chosen and maintained over the whole length of the performance by the director, Pokorný. At times he eases the pace and focus the audience’s attention on the more serious themes of Marber’s fifteen year-old play… His first play won’t bore you for a second…
Vladimír Hulec, E15