set design Dáda Němeček costume Natálie Steklová music David Babka dramaturgy Karel František Tománek
directed by Jiří Havelka
RUNNING TIME 1 hour 20 minutes
Wanted Welzl was written by DD’s dramaturgist, Karel František Tománek and is directed by Jiří Havelka, making his return to Dejvické divadlo following his successful Black Hole. DD also sees the return of set designer Dáda Němeček, who was responsible for designing the set of Black Hole as well as Landscape with Weapon.
The chief protagonist of the production is the Moravian businessman and chieftain of the Eskimos, Jan (Eskymo) Welzl.
“...Eskymo Welzl wasn’t my childhood hero and I started studying him in-depth only after I was asked to direct Dejvické divadlo’s production of the play about Welzl’s adventures. I must admit it’s provided a constant stimulus ever since. When talking to Karel Tománek and, later, set designer Dáda Němeček and costume designer Natálie Steklová about why and how to do the production today, we were quite clear that we didn’t want to make a play about his famous northern adventures. We were interested in the man himself, his life and death and what came in-between, the white, freezing North, where Man is always amazingly close to death, we were interested in ice, we were interested in non-theatre genres such as, for example, westerns or comics. And we were most interested in the perpetuum mobile..."
Western? Comics? Always an adventure
Dejvické divadlo in Prague has decided to stage a production on the adventures of globetrotter and Eskimo chieftain Jan Eskymo Welzl – and with some success.
Wanted Welzl, which tells the story of the Czech adventurer’s final journey to a small town in the New Siberian Islands to sell skins and stock up on supplies (his fateful return to civilisation), is staged very imaginatively by director Jiří Havelka….
…Scenes from Welzl’s life story – the plot is not a continuous relation of events – are framed by comic windows that are not afraid to give a close-up view (narrowing of the gap in the curtains through which the audience views the stage), and this, almost filmic, ‘zoom-in’ allows for excellent work with tension. Not to mention the bold use of montage...
the carefully staged scenes…, are accompanied by David Babka’s excellent musical score, whose pedal steel guitar not only makes a major contribution to creating atmosphere, but also ironises or comments on the plot. The production’s dreamlike score is reminiscent of Jim Jarmusch’s legendary Dead Man.
Zuzana Drtilová, editor, MF DNES