Fifty / Petr Zelenka

Unrealized threesomes, cancelled orgies

This play is about the life of a man in his late fifties, a portrait of an amusing, selfish person who found relief after his divorce but, subsequently, feels things once again are turning against him. Or it is simply about the urge to let everything go. Fifty, written and directed by Petr Zelenka in the Dejvice Theatre, is about all these things, both seperately and combined.

The theatre’s star actor, Ivan Trojan, literally immersed himself in his portrayal of the cynic who can’t help making wry jokes during a funeral or while splitting up. He clearly enjoys and feels attracted to his generational part, performing it with a distinctive insight, in some ways very similarly to how the ficticious David is coping with his current problems.

Such insightfulness is also inherent to Zelenka’s approach to the midlife crisis phenomenon. He puts his hero in situations (common in today's world), such as an encounter with a young student, Nina (Denisa Barešová), who lives a life of activism and perceives the world primarily through the lenses of social networks. While David’s colleague and friend Jan (Martin Myšička) teaches at a school where he has to come to terms with protests against sexism.

These contemporary themes /.../ are presented with wit by the trio Zelenka - Trojan - Myšička. Their protagonists observe and comment on our present-day reality and relish it. They know that there is nothing else that can be done. And it is precisely in this non-confrontational approach where lies the greatest wisdom of Zelenka's play.

The audience will be captivated by a subtle scene by Nikola Tempír, thanks to which it can bob up and down on a houseboat along with the main protagonists, as well as by melodies from the Beatles and Garbage and, of course, by the acting performances of the aforementioned, together with Veronika Khek Kubařová and Václav Neužil. Combined, it makes for an explosive, incredibly fun, bittersweet ride through today’s world.

Tomáš Šťástka,