Jiří Havelka et al.
our case, your case
Jesus playing the role of European culture. An actor playing the role of Jesus. Actors who have nothing to do with the actor playing the role of Jesus. Theatrical provocateurs and free speech preachers who hold nothing sacred. Faithful Christians and muscular defenders of the true faith. Legal experts, media prophets... A Muslim woman. All of the above stormed through Goose on a String Theatre – and subsequently the media of the allegedly most atheist country in Europe – during the guest performance of Oliver Frljić's play in Brno in 2018. Four years later, the time has come to smoke out and cleanse both the stage and the media landscape. We need to return to where it all began – to the theatre.
A furiously cathartic stage ceremony, based on real events surrounding an unreal case in which Czech society was cast in the main role, brings to the stage fragments of legal texts, online articles and interviews, audience letters, witness statements and the New Testament. In doing so, it attempts to answer a host of questions which linger to this day.
What demons sow division within our society, separating it into warring camps – and why? Are we capable of reconciling our identities, all of which seem to require an adversary, with one another? Can the language of faith, for which Jesus is the saviour, be reconciled with the language of art, for which he is a metaphor, without resorting to judicial proceedings?
Jiří Havelka (1980) is one of the most interesting and versatile personalities of contemporary Czech theatre and film: a director, playwright, actor, presenter, and former head of the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. His original and award-winning productions frequently stem from collective improvisation, proving time and again that he is no stranger to complex and sensitive social issues and surprising theatrical forms. He returns to Goose on a String Theatre following his successful 2020 production of Gadjos go to heaven.