Cabaret Normalisation or Prayer for Marta

Matúš Bachynec

Cabaret Normalisation or Prayer for Marta


Stage text from the dramaturgical line of plays tailor-made for a particular actor about controversial topics.

The new SND building, The Blue Salon
7. 12. 2017

Marta Kubišová – the singer who had to make revolution in order to sing again

Small-scale production based on the life and work of Marta Kubišová portrays the controversial era and difficult fate of the artists who had been brave enough to stand up to the régime.

In the 1960s Marta Kubišová, together with HelenaVondráčková and Václav Neckář,was member of the popular vocal trio Golden Kids. She was three-fold laureate of the Golden Nightingale award. The blitz career of Golden Kids was cut short by the comeback of orthodox Communism after the invasion of Soviet-led troops in 1968. Forged pro photograph became the ground for the Communist Party to ban Kubišová from performing. She had to wait nearly two decades to resume performing. During the twenty years she worked in a plant manufacturing bags for toys and in the Housing Construction company. Throughout she faced systemic harassment by the Government. On top of it all, she had to come to terms with a number of personal traumas. She survived clinical death, she had miscarriage, her first husband emigrated to the USA. In spite of it all she retained inner strength to stand by her beliefs and always stood in opposition to the régime. In 1977 she became signatory and spokeswoman of the human rights appeal Charter 77 what exacerbated and intensified her surveillance by the state secret police. After her silence as singer she performed in public on 1 December 1988 at a rally marking the 40th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A year later, on 21 November 1989 during the Velvet Revolution she sang Prayer for Marta and Czechoslovak anthem at the balcony of the Melantrich booksellers at Wenceslas Square in Prague. The song Prayer for Marta came to epitomise the résistance of the Czechs against the invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops back in 1968.

Marta Kubišová is one of the most remarkable figures in our recent history. Her endurance and steadfastness deserve much recognition and admiration even today. The production dedicated to the legacy of Ms Kubišová is not merely a political cabaret. It is essentially a story of a woman who, with her firmness, continues to inspire generations of artists and everyone courageous enough to stand by their beliefs.

Kindly note that smoking takes place on stage during performance.

Directed by: Matúš Bachynec
Dramaturgy: Miriam Kičiňová, Lucia Mihálová
Set and costumes design: Ján Husár
Movement tutor: Juraj Letenay
Music setting: Daniel Žulčák

Monika Potokárová
Silvia Holečková, guest performance
Daniel Žulčák, guest performance

Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes, no interval

Production Team

Directed by Matúš Bachynec
Set and Costume Designer Ján Husár
Choreography Assistance Juraj Letenay
Music arrangements Daniel Žulčák (as a guest)