Afterparty premieres at Archa

A new play applies Václav Havel's ideas to the current political landscape

Pieter De Buysser was last in Prague to give a preview of his upcoming play, The After Party, a work about the late Václav Havel that was then in progress. It did not go as expected. Many of the people in the audience were upset at his critique of the current state of democracy. He held his ground, though, and said that theater should get a reaction. “I don't see anything bizarre. I just applied Václav Havel on today's lies,” he said. At the time of his preview, Donald Trump had not been elected US president yet.

The finished play, which will be in Czech and French with English surtitles, is written and directed by De Buysser and will feature actors Christelle Cornil and Vladimír Javorský. The play runs March 22–24 and May 31–June 1 at divadlo Archa, and also has dates in Brno and Brussels.

The play's characters are a servant of Havel and a European politician. “It is a dialogue between two people … sort of a poetic fairy tale,”he said.

The play asks several questions: What does the legacy of Václav Havel mean today for Europe? Is a new alliance possible? How would the landscape of Adam and Eve look like in today's politics?

De Buysser in his preview maintained that we now live in a post-truth society where in politics the truth no longer matters. He illustrated this by the Brexit campaign in the UK, and the misinformation about weapons of mass destruction that led to Iraq War in 2003, and the US presidential election.

“Havel warned 30 years ago 'the victors' of the Cold War … would inevitably resemble 'their defeated opponents far more than anyone today is willing to admit or able to imagine.' Well, that’s easy [to see] today,” De Buysser said on Facebook.

“Havel didn’t just warn with a sharp diagnosis of political pathologies, he has outlined different ways of resistance. He did it unconventionally … trying 'to live in the truth,'” he added.

“He sketched a kind of rudimentary prefiguration, a symbolic model, of those more meaningful 'post-democratic' political structures that might become the foundation of a better society. It’s high time for The After Party,” he said.

De Buysser is a Dutch-speaking writer who lives and works in Brussels. He has written over 25 texts for theater and performance. Besides writing for performance, theater and film he directs internationally acclaimed theater productions like Book Burning, Landscape with Skiproads, Afzal and Immerwahr. His short films have been recognized at numerous film festivals.

For more visit www.divadloarcha.cz or the facebook.com/events page.


Related article:
Forum 2000 closing sparks controversy - Prague.TV, 20.10.2016

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