ALBERT´S FEAR / Vojta Švejda, James Donlon

KŘÍŽEK PROUDLY PRESENTS / Motus and Bio Oko's joint program for families, kids and others from Prague 7 and beyond
performance length: min
no language barrier
concept, direction: James Donlon (USA)
concept, performed by: Vojta Švejda
lights: Jan Beneš
music: Petr Wajsar
musicians: Martin Zpěvák (kontrabas), Jiří Mráz (klarinet)
This performance won the audience award of the Czech dance platform 2008.

"I’m here, I’m behind you, and I’m in your eyes, in your voice, in your heart. You can’t see me, but I can see you." Can Albert overcome his fear? Can he do it alone? A fantastic imagination versus dwarfish courage. Fear comes to our theatre.

Vojta Švejda again places a dramatic bet on pantomime and clowning, where he has found his personal form of expression. The project is stamped with an exceptional hallmark with the invitation of the renowned American clown, mime artiste, teacher and director James Donlon. This is the second time the two authors have worked together – a few years ago they collaborated on a performance entitled Truck Dog, which was shown in the Czech Republic and other Eastern European countries.

“We attempted to examine fear from many different angles. It is as if you were observing a thing through a crystal. You see a multiple image of a single object and each reflection looks a bit different. Fear is a broad term, and one could write a thick book or several plays about fear and this is why we have decided to focus only on certain aspects of fear. Our work resulted in a story of little Albert, who acquaints himself with his fear and tries to overcome it. In fact, it is a free sequel to Bliss (ed. note: Švejda’s 2002 scenic comic strip debut) – a character who struggles with himself rather than with his environment. He has a vivid imagination and drowns in doubt before taking any action. He is afraid even if nothing is happening” says Švejda and continues with the comparison of American and European approach to pantomime: “I find the American pantomime more free and lively. Americans are not so bound by history; after all, pantomime has its origin mainly here, in Europe. They see it from a distant perspective and understand it in a different way. They are not afraid of introducing features from different genres such as stand-up comedy.”

“Darkling space, prolonged bass and clarinet tones: Albert is really afraid, he is afraid of going to bed and waking up, he is afraid of passing a dark corridor; at home, at school or in hospital. To find comfort for his timidity and indecisiveness, Albert reads books! Cut! Valiant captain with a devoted parrot on his shoulder in an uneven battle with a pirate horde. Captain wins not only the battle but also the treasure. Cut! A reckless poker-faced cowboy who excels in shuffling cards, highly respected. He is cool, even when mercilessly killing skunks swarming all around. Bang! Bang! Cut! But Albert is still afraid…”
Anna Hejmová,, October 2007

premiere: 17. 10. 2007
Supported by: City of Prague, MOTUS C.A. – ALFREDVEDVOŘE Theatre production

Special thanks to: Katka Housková, Ivan Houska jr.

This performance is part of the New Web 2008 project.

photo Pavel Hejný photo Pavel Hejný photo Pavel Hejný photo Vladimír Burian photo Vladimír Burian photo Petr Kudláček