Widower Fred Kowinski lives with the memories of his years spent on the front lines of World War II. He is visited once a week by his friend Walt, who shares with him both his wartime past and an endless game of chess.
Fred is a brooding loner and a moron, with whom no housekeeper can last more than a few hours. Except for Rosalind, who turns his life upside down.
The director Lída Engelová presented the play years ago in the Municipal Theaters of Prague with Jan Vlasák, Petr Štěpánek and Jitka Smutna. Now it returns to Kalich with a new cast, which also means a new look at its heroes.
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It’s as if the author wrote Fred to fit Radek Holub’s explosive acting. He filled it with an irresistible mixture of arrogance, snarky edginess and charm.
In the first part of the production, the Pigeon waves a tsunami of egoistic energy around him to such an extent that his performance is one big solo and it is difficult to enter into a partnership with him. But after the break, he shows the subtler shades of the character and proves that he is a master of the comedy genre.
The Italian-German housewife Rosalinda is an opportunity for Barbora Hrzánová to demonstrate all registers of her acting talent, from her southern temperament to the refined femininity with which she impresses Fred. Engelová directed both of them a wonderful entrance into the second half of the evening, where their partnership shines fully.
Lukáš Jurek as Walt, who can both selflessly record for them and precisely place the points of brilliant dialogue, will not be lost next to them either.
In the role of Fred’s son Leonard, together with his parents, Antonín Holub, who is returning to Prague after studying acting in Paris, presented himself on stage for the first time. He has a lot of acting energy from his parents. But he can inventively direct it to the characterization of the character, which he interestingly transforms in the course of the story.
A well-acted part is really a well-acted comedy that, in addition to bursts of laughter, also evokes sympathy for the characters, their loneliness and the desire for ordinary human contact.
|Stefan Vögel: Well played game|
|Translation: Magdalena Štulcová, direction: Lída Engelová, set: Ivo Žídek, costumes: Barbara Horáková Fehérová. Premiere on November 8 at the Kalich Theatre, Prague|
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