Based on short stories by Božena Slančíková Timrava

Michal Vajdička

Michal Vajdička

Daniel Majling

Pavol Andraško

Katarína Hollá

Michal Novinski

MARA KANÁTOVÁ Kamila Magálová
JÁN GRÚNIK Jozef Vajda
MRS DROZDÍKOVÁ Emília Vášáryová
MR DROZDÍK František Kovár
PAVOL MIŠÚR Emil Horváth
ZUZA BOSÁ Rebeka Poláková
PAĽO „ĽOĽO” KANÁT Gregor Hološka
ĎURO GRÚNIK Daniel Fischer
JURKO VRAPÚCH Bence Hégli (student of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava)

3 June 2023

CHILDREN Based on short stories by Božena Slančíková-Timrava At Kanát’s Family and No Joy at All. Mara is organising her son’s second wedding. His first marriage having failed, Mara virtually forced her son to marry a plain widow with a small child. First it seems that their marriage is destined for disaster but the newlyweds – both social outcasts – surprisingly grow fond of each other quite soon. Mara is horrified to realise that her son no longer needs her, and that she is losing control over him... Zuza is burying her husband. She is not too sad – he was a violent drunkard who brought her nothing but misery and, moreover, her supressed desires are resurfacing as her old flame from her youth is now also a widower. Could they go back twenty-five years and repair what their marriages of convenience had broken? Is it possible to revive the long-supressed and slowly decomposing feelings? And if so, what would the children say? A story about children – both our own, suffocating under smothering love, and those alien to us, coming from the valley beyond, whom we sometimes treat with harsh cruelty and indifference.

This brand-new production on the repertoire of the Slovak National Theatre revisits the work of arguably the most staged Slovak author of recent years, whose novels have inspired many dramaturges and directors of Slovak theatres. For the tandem Daniel Majling – Michal Vajdička, this is the third encounter with this author. All for the Nation, one of their previous stage adaptations of Timrava’s dramatic world prepared for the Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra, became the highlight of the 2009 Divadlo festival and won the Czech Theatre Critics’ Survey for Best Foreign Production.

In Children, the ensemble of the Slovak National Theatre’s Drama Company shows its best acting. A perfect adaptation of the text, a thorough direction and excellent performances by the actors you will want to see again and again. There is one substantial negative aspect, though. The production paints a picture that is painfully familiar to anyone who has ever lived in a family.


The production only proves the generally acknowledged truth – that Božena Slančíková-Timrava was a master in uncompromising analysis of human characters and their mutual relationships. The play follows two elderly sisters, Mara Kanátová (Kamila Magálová) and Mrs Drozdíková (Emília Vášáryová), who are quite similar in many aspects, despite their slightly different views of the world. (...) Interestingly, the production is not set in any specific time period. The director does make a few nods to the modern age – a smartphone here, Cinderella on TV there – but only in passing. This was the right decision as the ideas Timrava conveys in her work are as relevant today as they were a century ago. What the characters faced in her times could easily happen today.


MICHAL VAJDIČKA (1976) He studied theatre directing under Peter Mikulík at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, where he graduated in 2004. While still a student, he saw success at theatre school festivals with his production The Lonesome West. As a director he then worked with many Slovak and Czech theatres (Drama Company of the Slovak National Theatre, State Theatre in Košice, Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra, Dejvice Theatre in Prague, Vinohrady Theatre in Prague, and National Theatre in Brno). From 2014 to 2016, he was the artistic director of the Dejvice Theatre, where he still occasionally returns as a guest. He was the head of the Drama Company of the Slovak National Theatre in the 2018/2019 season. In the 2022/2023 season, he became an in-house director at the National Theatre in Prague. Two basic lines can be traced in his directorial work. The first focuses on producing classical drama (above all the plays of Chekhov, Shakespeare, Pirandello and the adaptation of works by Slančíková-Timrava). The other focuses on contemporary foreign drama with an emphasis on the black comedies by Martin McDonagh and stage adaptations of Irvine Welsh’s books. Many of his productions have been presented at the Divadlo festival: All for the Nation (Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra, 2009), A Blockage in the System (Dejvice Theatre, 2012), The Kindly Ones (Slovak National Theatre, 2015), Resurrection (Dejvice Theatre, 2017) and Before Sunset (Slovak National Theatre, 2019). His production The Last of the Soviets, presented by the Dlouhá Theatre, Prague, at last year’s Divadlo festival, was declared the Production of the Year in the 2022 Theatre Critics’ Survey.

DRAMA COMPANY OF THE SLOVAK NATIONAL THEATRE The Drama Company was launched in 1920. The famous tradition of exceptional acting personalities who worked in the theatre for a whole century is continued by today’s company under the leadership of the most recent artistic heads – Roman Polák (2012–2017) and Michal Vajdička (2018–2019). Since 2021, the Drama Company has been headed by dramaturge Miriam Kičiňová. The theatre’s repertoire consists of classic plays, productions of original plays, adaptations of prose works, and the mapping of the blind spots in Slovak history. In the last few years, the Slovak National Theatre’s Drama Company has regularly taken part in theatre festivals in Toruń, Hradec Králové, Zlín, Brno, Olomouc, Pilsen and Nitra, as well as showing guest productions at the National Theatre in Prague, as well as in Brno, Budapest, Bucharest, Ljubljana and Vienna.