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PAST PRODUCTIONS

Migrant's Rhapsody Slovak Theatre in London
Migrant's Rhapsody Slovak Theatre in London

MIGRANTS' RHAPSODY

Migrant's Rhapsody Slovak Theatre in London
Migrant's Rhapsody Slovak Theatre in London

Migrants’ Rhapsody was a collection of scenes depicting the lives of Slovak migrants in London. It has been inspired by real stories and facts from interviews and questionnaires. The authenticity was assured by the actors and creators themselves - all of them Slovak migrants. The story followed a fictional journey of various types of migrants, from their arrival in London all the way to the moment of making a decision whether to stay permanently in a country of temporary residence. The play captured the situations and moods of every migrant with humour and ease, the situations that every migrant has to go through - the great expectations, excitement for the new opportunities, first earnings, as well as a disappointment from the low-skill job, relationships and the culture shock, all the way to the discovery of a new, stronger identity and the true calling of an individual in a global society.

 

 

The play offered a general reflection on the contemporary phenomenon of economic migration and it was dedicated mainly to the fellow Slovak and Czech migrants. It hoped to spread the feeling of fellowship and hope. In a greater sense, and presented in English language, it spoke to all migrants arriving in Great Britain / West Europe. It asked the question of the cultural, moral and national predestination of the European citizen and touched the issue of a young person searching for a home in the world of adults.

Formally, the play was commonly devised piece of theatre, alternating between drama, narrations, poems and physical theatre scenes featuring original songs. The creation of the play lasted an approximately year and a half, appearing first time on the stage in May and June 2015, consisting of three showings in Slovak and one in the English language. Based on the feedback the play was improved, enriching the formal side as well until its final version was established in April 2016. Part of the process of collaborative work was determining and removing the ideas that did not match the main subject, despite having great potential, more detailed study of the key scenes as well as a change in cast and crew.

 

MUSIC

 

Apart from original music, parts of songs Všetko má svoj čas by Miriam Kaiser, I Believe I Can Fly by R. Kelly and a segment of an East Slovakian folk tune Musí vám mamičko were heard in the play.

 

SCRIPT

 

The final script was established and polished by the director Juliana Sersenová. The Wedding speech was translated into English by Marián Florovič.

 

COSTUMES

 

The common, spontaneous idea of costumes design was encouraged and approved by the designer Martina Šošková.

PRODUCTION AND TOUR 

The final version of the play was produced with the help of Simona Vrabcová who also managed the reruns and tour of the show.

Simona Vrabcova STL
Jakub Repisky STL
Natalia Herzogova STL
Marek Chomist STL
Jana Balaziova STL
Robert Susienka STL

  Simona Vrabcová                   Jakub Repiský                  Natália Herzogová               Marek Chomist                    Jana Balážiová                  Róbert Sušienka

Migrant's Rhapsody Slovak Theatre in London

The memorable poster capturing the date of the premiére at the Venue 229 in London. The first night of the completed production was sold out for the pleasant surprise of all. The promoter Štefan Krasňanský a.k.a Pishter trusted the unknown theatre group and it was a good bet. The heart in the plastic bag refers to the metaphorical scene in which a departing migrant tries to transfer abroad his whole heart in the suitcase. See the full text on the right.  Photography was made by our media assistant Monika Zimovčáková. 

The heart in the suitcase - Srdce v kufri

(excerpt from the play EN/SK )

Janka: Excuse me ... - Prepáčte...

Natália: Is this your luggage? Can you open it, please? Have you got any liquids, sprays or creams inside?

- To je váš kufor? Prosím vás, otvorte mi ho. Máte tam nejaké tekutiny, aerosoly?

Janka: No, I don’t. I don’t understand ...

- Nie, nemám. Nechápem...

Natália: There must be something, don’t touch the suitcase, please! (She searches the suitcase.) Ah, there we are! Of course! Gelatinous substance!

- Musí tam byť niečo. Nedotýkajte sa kufra, prosím! Á, tuto to máme. Rôsolovitá hmota!

Janka: It’s jam from my grandma.

- To je nátierka od babičky.

Natália: I am sorry, but we have to throw it away. Stand back, please. (Skúma ďalej.) Oh and what´s this?

- Ľutujem, musíme ju vyhodiť. Odstúpte si, prosím. Á, a toto je čo?

Janka:  That’s... my heart..

- To je...  moje srdce.

Natália: I’m sorry, you can’t take your heart with you. It contains liquid and exceeds 100 ml.  

- Ľutujem, nemôžete ho zobrať zo sebou. Obsah srdca je tekutý a presahuje objem 100 ml.

Janka: But I must take my heart with me!

- Ale ja potrebujem zobraťso sebou svoje srdce!

Natália: I am very sorry. It’s Rules & Regulations. Contents must fit inside the plastic bag so it can be sealed.

- Ľutujem, predpisy dovoľujú zobrať len to, čo sa zmestí do vrecúška tak, že vrecúško bude uzatvárateľné.  

Janka: Please, is there anything that can be done? - --

- Prosím vás, nedalo by sa to nejako vybaviť?

Natália: The only option is to cut the heart half and take what fits inside the plastic bag. You’ve got to hurry though or you will miss the flight!  

- Jediné, čo prichádza do úvahy, je srdce roztrhnúť a zobrať aspoň to, čo sa zmestí do vrecúška. Ale rýchlo, lebo vám odletí lietadlo.

Janka: Thank you. (She is tearing the heart with effort.) I can´t...

- Ďakujem. (Snaží sa srdce roztrhnúť.) Nemôžem...

Natália: Rob, can you help the lady please?

- Pán kolega, prosím, pomôžte slečne...

Robo: (He swiftly rips the heart apart.)

(Svižne roztrhne srdce na dve časti.

Janka: Can I give the other half to my mum, please? She is waiting over there. (She points at her mum.) -

Prosím vás, mohla by som tú druhú polovicu zaniesť mojej mame? Čaká tam.

Natália: I am sorry, you can’t return that way. - --

- Ľutujem, tým smerom sa nemôžete vrátiť.

Janka: Will you do me a favour? Could you take it and give to her? I’ll pay. For goodness’ sake. I’m begging you! It’s very important for me…  

- Môžem vás poprosiť o láskavosť, boli by ste taká milá a zaniesli jej ho? Veľmi pekne vás prosím, je to pre mňa životne dôležité...

Natália: Give it to me... I’ll do that for you this time but don’t expect anyone to do you favour next time! Which one is your mother?

- Dajte to sem, teda, ale toto je výnimočná pomoc, nabudúce nečakate, že vám niekto pomôže. Ktorá je vaša matka?

Janka: The lady over there with the coffee ...

- Tamtá pani s kávičkou...

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ACADEMY FOR WOMEN

Joe and Lisa found a legal charitable Academy for Women to shelter young street prostitutes and strippers in Elko County, State Nevada. The Academy is the first place in the world where women access both, sex work and studies. What results can this peculiar programme produce? We also ask whether is possible to stop negative consequences of prostitution by a better education of young prostitutes or not. See for yourself.

Prostitutes can be both hated and praised, ignored, or simply tolerated. We invite our audiences to take a turn in the street of shame and to look straight in glass windows, reaching behind smiles, sexy underwear, and the naked skin of sex workers. We dare the audiences to remove the layer of judgements and myths, by listening to prostitutes’ innermost experience.


Written and directed by Juliana Sersenová

Produced and co-written by Simona Vrabcová

Composed by Katarína Sliacka
Designed by Sára Šišková
Choreography by Jana Klimová
Poster by @francekarts

 

Cast

Zuzana Šťastná

Petra Čorňáková,
Simona Vrabcová

Simon Kopunec
 

Past Cast

Klaudia Tomanová

Matěj Paprčiak
 

Academy for Women premiered on 9th of April 2017 in Ravensfield Theatre at the Middlesex University London. Since then theatre company performed seven times in London and abroad. STL made its debut at Camden People's Theatre in London by performing two shows in May 2017. The continental tour started at the festival in Presov (Slovakia) and continued in June by visiting Brussels (Belgium) and Prague (Czech Republic). Next set of performances was delivered in four Slovak cities in September 2017. The crew reunited after the summer, taking on two new actors. The intense ten-day rehearsing period upgraded the show to a new level. The play reached various Slovak audiences with a success, Remarkably, secondary school students proved to be attentive and most thankful watchers.

‘I too would have given you the same answers if you asked me back then I was a prostitute.

  I would have told you, “Yes, I do this voluntarily.” I would have been incapable of telling you otherwise.

  I had resigned myself to my fate. And furthermore, I would have never been able to say to the man

  that each of his acts was, in fact, a rape.’ 

(Raymond, J.: Not a Choice, Not a Job)

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EXTREME [THE NEW NORM]

In June 2022, we successfully performed the first two shows of our new author-created production "Extreme [the new norm]". In 2023 we toured with the show in 5 countries. We returned to London with two shows in March and a premiere in the English language. We performed shows in Dublin and Brussels in April, and in 3 cities across Slovakia in July. Two major festivals Edinburgh and Camden Fringe in August 2023. Our show was highly recommended at the Edfringe by Fringe Review, read the review here. We were also awarded the Keep It Fringe Award among only 50 winners from 700 applicants. Part of the award was a grant and in-kind support from TikTok and Lumo Train company.

What was the theatre play about?

Life is unpredictable and it shapes us to be flexible but over the past two years, we lived through another level of extremes when we couldn’t rely on what would happen even in the next hour, let alone a month. Pandemic rules brought contrasting experiences. Some of us were relieved to finally slow down, the others became frustrated and bored. Some worked, even more, others lived in constant fear. Eventually, we all became overwhelmed by it all. And with the most recent world events, it seems that when one crisis passes, another is revealed in the endless circle of life. We find ourselves constantly living beyond norms and extremes become the new norm.

 

Slovak Theatre in London reflects on the biggest event of the past decade, which globally impacted the life of every individual.  Contrasting pandemic situations portrayed in a colourful collage of scenes and characters, this is a one-of-a-kind experience to witness. Through collaborative devising, the artists explore the patterns of behaviour of society and individuals in a time of catastrophe. While this stage of our lives might already seem distant, their artistic treatment emphasizes the experience of crisis rather than the event itself, as it desires to serve as a mirror to challenge opinions and call to new perspectives. Ultimately, the show, filled with both seriousness and humour, offers a collective therapy through art.

Check out photos from our show in the Gallery and watch Trailer below!
 

Directed and Composed by Zuzana Strnátová

Written by Simona Vrabcová and collective

Produced by Simona Vrabcová

Choreographed by Jana Zordan (b.Klimová)

Costumes by Sára Šišková

Lights Design and Tech Support by Maggie Slaboňová and Natália Vrabcová

Cast: Simona Vrabcová, Simona Gibejová, Rebeka Jurčasková,
Katarína Martin, Tereza Ružičková, Natália Lukáčová, Dalibor Buranda, Jozef Radosvký

V Júni 2022 sme úspešne odpremiérovali divadelnú inscenáciu "Extrém [nová norma]". V roku 2023 sme inscenáciu zobrali na turné do piatich krajín. V marci sme opäť zahrali v Londýne aj s premiérou anglickej verzie, v apríli sme potešili divákov v Dubline a Bruseli. V júli sme zahrali na Slovensku v Nitre, Bytči a Bratislave. A v auguste 2023 na dvoch prestížnych festivaloch Edinburg Fringe (Škótsko) a Camden Fringe (Londýn, Anglicko). V Edinburghu nás známy Fringe Review ohodnotil ako vysoko-odporúčaná šou. Boli sme tiež držiteľom Keep It Fringe Award, ktorú sme získali ako jedny z 50 vybraných výhercov spomedzi 700 prihlásených. Súčasťou bol grant a in-kind pomoc od Tik-Tok a Lumo Train company.

 

O čom bola táto hra?


Život je nepredvídateľný a učí nás prispôsobivosti, no v uplynulých dvoch rokoch sme si prešli takými extrémami, že sme sa nemohli spoľahnúť na to, čo sa stane počas ďalšej hodiny, nieto na ďalší mesiac. Pandemické pravidlá nám priniesli rôznorodé skúsenosti. Niektorým sa uľavilo, že môžu konečne spomaliť, iní zostali frustrovaní a prepadli nude. Niektorí začali pracovať viac, iní žili v neustálom strachu. Celkovo nás to všetkých pohltilo. A zdá sa, prihliadnuc na nedávne svetové udalosti, že keď prejde jedna kríza, vystrieda ju druhá. V nekonečnom kolobehu života sa dostávame z jedného extrému do druhého a extrém sa stáva normou. 

 

Slovenské divadlo v Londýne reflektuje na najväčšiu udalosť posledného desaťročia, ktorá celosvetovo ovplyvnila život každého človeka. Hra v pestrej koláži scén a postáv predostiera kontrastné situácie spôsobené pandémiou. Mnohé z nich sú inšpirované skutočnými udalosťami. Herci skúmajú vzorce správania sa spoločnosti a jednotlivcov v čase krízy pomocou spoločného autorského tvorenia, využívajúc pohybové vyjadrenie, hudbu aj piesne. Počas predstavenia dokonca angažujú aj divákov, aby čo najlepšie nastavili zrkadlo zaužívaným názorom a otvorili nové perspektívy vnímania. Hra naplnená drámou, ale aj humorom a satirou má za cieľ pôsobiť ako kolektívna terapia umením. 

Pozrite si fotky z predstavenia v galérii a upútavnku vo videu vyššie.

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Mum, What Did You Want?

This verbatim production thematically returns to migration, but unlike the Migrant Rhapsody, it presents the views and opinions of those who remained in Slovakia - specifically mothers who, after several years of separation from their children, became grandmothers forced to fly after their grandchildren. Five actors talk about how their lives have changed, about emotional ebbs and outflows, about generational paradoxes multiplied by distance, in a documentary performance, enriched with songs and dances.

Directed and Composed by Juliana Sersenová

Produced by Simona Vrabcová

Verbatim Script edited by Juliana Sersenová (from interviews)

Choreographed by Jana Zordan (b.Klimová)
Cast: Simona Vrabcová, Lukáš Božík, Monika Deda, Jana Jenčová, Barbora Trubačová, Jasmína Alagič

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