Author: Daniel Glattauer
Original title: Die Wunderübung
Theatrical title: Zázračné cvičení
Director: Vilma Cibulková
Cast: Vilma Cibulková, Stanislav Lehký, Rostislav Trtík
Premiere: January 22, 2015
Theater: Branické divadlo, Prague
It is a minimalistic play with three characters, a constantly fighting
married couple and their couples therapist who resorts to unconventional
methods to fix their relationship.
About the author:
Daniel Glattauer is an Austrian writer and former journalist. He is best known for his dialogic epistolary novel Love Virtually (Gut gegen Nordwind) and its sequel Every Seventh Wave (Alle sieben Wellen).
Glattauer's novels and plays are inspired by his personal experiences, dealing with situations and themes constructed from memories of his time as a journalist and his psycho social counselor training. Glattauer's work is characterized by humor and romantic relationships, catering to the masses and leading some critics to find fault with a lack of depth to his novels.
About the play:
Valentin (Stanislav Lehký) and Joana (Vilma Cibulková) are seeking the help of a couples therapist (Rostislav Trtík). Soon however, it is clear that regular treatment is not sufficient for this couple, so rooted their contempt for each other and so deep the estrangement are. After some vague attempts, which only made the couple furious, the therapist goes for a drastic exercise, which might not be successful at all.
Family problems and misunderstanding: This topic was pictured by the author with all the skills. The dialogs and monologues are so strong and passionate that it makes you sometimes think how two people can be driven to such misunderstanding and coldness in a marriage. A couple which is not able to sit together and talk calmly without shouting and accusing each other. Years together tought them to know soft spots and where it hurts the most.
I must confess, that the play itself is very good and I really appreciate the dialogues, development of the characters and passion and temperature rising. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of the actors. It is not that the actors were not talented, but I had a slight feeling of artificial uneasiness in their presentation.