On January 31, 2017 we went to Prague to see a play called "Její pastorkyňa" (English "Jenůfa") - classic Czech drama by Gabriela Preissová, Czech writer and playwright. It was first performed at the Brno Theatre in November 1890. In 1893 famous Czech composer Leoš Janáček started write an opera with the same name. He finished it in 1903 and people could see it in January 1904 in Brno for the first time. In the Vinohrady Theatre we visited was the premiere on September 16, 2016.
We arrived at Prague at 6 pm. We had a lot of time, so we went to McDonald's. I was traveling with my 3 dear friends and with 2 girls from first grade. After little refreshment we went back to the theatre. We took our seats in the 12th line and the performance started traditionally at 7 pm. The view was awesome. The stage was so close!
Její pastorkyňa is a tragedy. The play is about Jenůfa, her stepmother Kostelnička, Jenůfa's boyfriend Števa and Števa's stepbrother Laca, who loves Jenůfa, but she deeply loves Števa and they're planning wedding. After the scene, when Laca accidentally cuts Jenůfa into her cheek with a knife, Števa leaves Jenůfa. In the second part of the play, Jenůfa finds out she's pregnant and Števa is the father. When she gives birth, Kostelnička hides Jenůfa and her child. She begs Števa to marry Jenůfa, but he's already planning another wedding with mayor's daughter. Then she calls Laca to her house and tells him everything about Jenůfa and her child. He's shocked, but his love to Jenůfa remains. One night, Kostelnička does terrible thing. After Jenůfa falls asleep, she takes the child and kills it. She tells everyone who knew about the child that it died and she has already borrowed it.
Later, on Laca's and Jenůfa's wedding, a group of young men brings a chest with the dead baby. Jenůfa opens the chest and she can't believe her eyes. Everybody on the wedding is shocked and they want to stone Jenůfa to death. In that moment, Kostelnička comes and she tells the truth. Jenůfa forgives her, but Kostelnička still has to go to court.
The story is located to a Moravian village, the language was also Moravian.
I've told my friends that I write this article and I've asked them for their opinions. Here you can see what I've received:
• friend No. 1: "It was very dramatic, I've liked that comedy (editor's note: "Pygmalion" we visited last year) more. I almost cried when I was watching one scene in this play. In my opinion it was fairly lengthly, in fact it was still about the one thing all the time. But it was quite interesting. I liked Havlová's performance."
• friend No. 2: "I think it was nice! I really liked the choice of the dresses and Dagmar Havlová acted awesome too. I would probably liked some comedy more, but it was still very good drama. The choice of actors who played Števa and Laca was weird, but they still acted excellent."
And my opinion? It was really nice. I can't compare it with Pygmalion like friend No. 1, because one is tragedy and one is comedy. I agree that the performance of Dagmar Havlová was extraordinary. Whole play was very emotional, it was a nice change from all those comedies I usually visit in the theaters. I like plays where I can see some famous actors and that's usual in Vinohrady Theatre. We could see Naďa Konvalinková as mayor's wife or Carmen Mayerová - mother of the famous Czech actor Tereza Kostková - as Grandmother Buryjovka. In the role of Kostelnička was Dagmar Havlová like I've already mentioned.
I'm already looking forward to some other theatre trip!
Daniel Giebel, kvinta A