BEDTIME! An original production written and directed by Veronika Poldauf Riedlbauchová that blurs the lines between poetic physical theatre and Grotesque clownery (often referred to as ‘Bouffon’). The show builds on a common scenario shared by many parents around the world: it’s bedtime but their children catch a second wind and would rather horse around than go to sleep. Naturally, their father is anything but happy about this, as he thought putting them to bed would be a cakewalk. At the 2021 Mateřinka International Theatre Festival, Veronika Riedlbauchová received the Governor of the Liberec Region Award for Best Direction and Best Choreography for the production whilst Marianna Stránská took home the award for Best Set Design, Michal Kříž won Best Lighting Design, and composer Jan Čtvrtník won Best Music.
It would be tempting to write that Bedtime! is a simple play on an everyday theme that features a perfectly executed, artistic performance. But that would be doing a huge disservice to the production itself. The fact that all movement is kept to a bare-bones minimum, that the music comments on the events that play out on stage with high precision, and that the magical lighting transitions manage to completely transform the stage in an instant, where the minimalist set design is dominated by a large bed, all this demonstrates that careful planning and consideration went behind the making of Bedtime!, which the creative team feel no need to exhibit vehemently. Rather, they have devotedly woven this piece into a coherent and entertaining production.
– Veronika Švecová, Hadrián – Oficiální zpravodaj divadelního festivalu Regiony
This story about two small children who don’t feel like going to bed, so they torment their father with mischief instead, is performed by a three-strong cast in a magnificent Grotesque movement completely absent of dialogue or spoken word. The producers did an excellent job with gags, music, and the changes in pace and mood. During the climactic pillow fight scene, in which the desperate father unwittingly takes most of the blows, the atmosphere in the children’s audience came close to what you might experience at a rock concert.
– Michal Zahálka, Aktuálně.cz
VERONIKA POLDAUF RIEDLBAUCHOVÁ She graduated from theatre direction at the DAMU Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre in Prague under the supervision of Professor Josef Krofta, and later she studied physical acting at the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona. It is poetic physical theatre which lies at the core of her work. Most recently she collaborated with Bratři v tricku group with whom she devised three highly acclaimed productions: Riverside, Funeral and Hunting. On the side, Riedlbauchová is engaged with opera directing, choreography and devising of productions fusing music with poetry.
DRAK THEATRE The theatre was founded in 1958. Its initial phase is connected with the author and director Jiří Středa and the visual artist František Vítek. In the second stage, the creative team was extended to include the theatre’s managing director and dramaturge Jan Dvořák, the director Miroslav Vildman, the visual artist Pavel Kalfus and the musician and actor Jiří Vyšohlíd. The production Tales from a Suitcase was a sensation at the UNIMA world festival in 1966, and set the stage for the theatre’s long-lasting popularity both at home and abroad. In 1971, the young director Josef Krofta came to the theatre, and after he was joined by the visual artist Petr Matásek, the legendary Krofta – Matásek – Vyšohlíd team was formed. Thanks to their work, the theatre soon became one of the most significant puppet theatres in Czechoslovakia and on the international stage. In 1995 Josef Krofta’s son, the director Jakub Krofta, joined Drak, and together with him the set designer Marek Zákostelecký. Their original productions combined elements of puppet, clown, visual and music theatre. At the start of 2010 Eliška Finková became the theatre’s managing director, and together with dramaturge Dominika Špalková and later also with Jakub Vašíček and Tomáš Jarkovský, they started a further gradual transformation of the theatre. Since 2020, Tomáš Jarkovský has been the head of the theatre.