Petr Zelenka

Petr Zelenka

Nikola Tempír

Katarína Hollá

Olga Šubrtová

DAVID Ivan Trojan
ROMAN Václav Neužil
JAN Martin Myšička
TOM Tomáš Jeřábek
JANA Veronika Khek Kubařová
POLY Elizaveta Maximová
NINA Denisa Barešová
ANDREA Klára Melíšková
EVA Eva Suková ml.

The play takes place in Prague between the years 2016 and 2018.

3 December 2022

FIFTY Everyone in the Czech Republic knows very well how the presidential run-off turned out in January 2018. This play, however, recounts the turmoil it caused in the life of David Prebinger, a recently divorced freelance architect, a tireless glossator of the times and a good-hearted looser who longs in vain for a threesome. Fifty was voted the Best New Czech Play of the past year, and Ivan Trojan won the Best Male Actor Award in the Theatre Critics’ Survey (formerly the Alfréd Radok Foundation Awards) for his role of David.

You could say it is a play about the life of a man in his late fifties, but that is only a fraction of the whole picture. It could just as easily be seen as a portrayal of an amusingly selfish man who is immensely relieved after a five-year divorce, only to fall into a much worse state. Or perhaps a story about the urge to let go and stop caring, which in my case caught up with me at about the age of fifty. It’s the kind of liberating realisation that the world will keep turning without you and that ultimately, you will not be missed by anyone. Rather than suicidal thoughts, it is a relief – a new starting point from which you can move forward, or where you can stubbornly stand still and move nowhere. Having turned fifty, you can finally afford to do just that. A man at that age is no longer capable of changing, let alone growing. What he can do, though, is read the feelings and desires that people around project onto him and either resist them, or simply let go without regret.’ Petr Zelenka

Most of us will find in this sad comedy reflections of our own sorrows and uncertainties that we experience in our private and public lives, whether it be aging, friendship and romantic relationships, or the eternal struggle with the ever-changing social and political circumstances. Even the occasional resort to sentimentality and minor clichés is understandable as a signature element of Zelenka’s style. 

– JANA SOPROVÁ, Divadelní noviny

It is a pleasure to find a playwright who can actually write, and actors who can perform what he has written. It may sound like a rather banal statement, but it is quite rare for a theatre to so fully and easily meet the requirements of what we might call ‘the traditional form of interpretive drama’.


The trio Zelenka – Trojan – Myšička take a witty look at current issues (...). Their characters observe, comment and laugh at our times. They know this is all that can be done. This consensual approach indeed hides the greatest wisdom of Zelenka’s play. The subtle set design by Nikola Tempír, which makes the audience feel as if they were rocking together with the main characters, the Beatles and Garbage songs and, of course, the performance given by the actors (in addition to the two mentioned above, especially by Veronika Khek Kubařová and Václav Neužil) are captivating. All these elements put together take us on an explosive, incredibly funny, bittersweet ride through today’s world.


PETR ZELENKA (1967) He is a playwright, screenwriter, film and theatre director. He studied screenwriting and dramaturgy at FAMU in Prague. His first film as a director was a mockumentary about the punk band Visací Zámek, made in 1993. His films are generally acknowledged as outstanding pieces of contemporary Czech cinema, and most of them received prestigious Czech and international awards. His feature debut Buttoners won the Golden Tiger award at the Rotterdam Film Festival, and his films Year of the Devil (2002) and Wrong Side Up (2005) won the Crystal Globe at KVIFF and the top prize at the Moscow Film Festival. His latest film Droneman was first screened to the public in spring 2020. As a playwright and theatre director, Petr Zelenka debuted with the production Tales of Ordinary Madness at the Dejvice Theatre in 2001. The play won the prestigious Alfréd Radok Foundation Award in 2001, and its successful film version premiered in 2005. Some sixty theatres worldwide subsequently chose the play for a stage adaptation. Zelenka returned to the Dejvice Theatre as a playwright and director with Theremin, which premiered in 2006, and Dubbing Street, which was first staged in 2012 and later, in 2018, made into a TV series for the Czech Television, also written and directed by Zelenka. His production The Elegance of the Molecule premiered at the Dejvice Theatre in 2018. Petr Zelenka’s noteworthy works for other theatres include the plays Expurgation (Oczyszczenie, commissioned by the renowned Theatre Stary in Krakow), Endangered Species (the National Theatre), and his collaboration with the South Bohemian Theatre, which staged the production Job Interviews and two productions for the revolving auditorium in Krumlov – The Hound of the Baskervilles and Da Vinci. In 2022, Zelenka directed his play Beckham at the Studio Dva theatre. Zelenka’s plays were translated into many foreign languages, and some of them were also published abroad, for example in the prestigious French edition Les Solitaires Intempestifs. The Akropolis publishing house published his complete theatre plays written until 2012 under the title Ordinary Madness.

DEJVICE THEATRE The theatre was founded in 1992. Following the departure of the original company and its head Jan Borna in 1996, director Miroslav Krobot served as the new artistic head to the end of the 2013/2014 season. From 2014 to 2016 the artistic head was Michal Vajdička, who had been working with the theatre from 2011 as director of A Blockage in the System and Seagull. Since January 2017 the new artistic head has been Martin Myšička who joined the theatre’s company as an actor in 1997. The theatre’s dramaturgy goes in several directions. As well as showing original plays by contemporary European and world authors, the theatre focuses on works by distinguished Czech and Slovak playwrights who write their work directly for the Dejvice Theatre’s company, and in most cases also participate in directing it (J. A. Pitínský, Miroslav Krobot, Petr Zelenka, Jiří Havelka, David Ondříček, Karel František Tománek, Viliam Klimáček, Petra Tejnorová, Daniel Majling, and others). A distinctive interpretation of world literature is another significant component of the dramaturgy. The Dejvice Theatre has won many prestigious awards during its existence, and so have its actors, who are consistently approached with leading roles in other fields of dramatic art, especially in film, TV and radio. In 2022, the Dejvice Theatre was named Theatre of the Year for the sixth time in the Svět a divadlo magazine poll (the Czech Theatre Critics’ Survey, formerly the Alfréd Radok Foundation Awards).