photo: Michal Hančovský
Panoptikum (Freakshows) were traveling companies moving from town to town and exhibiting curious objects, skills, and above all - people called "unique individuals". At the time when Freak shows were at its greatest glory, it was the only possible refuge for those personalities that society had rejected and refused for fear of unknown and different. Exhibiting those who had nowhere to go was a powerful source of income for their owner, i.e. impresario.
There were thousands of people, seeking this kind of entertainment, queuing in front of the panoptical coffers, waiting to be amused and shocked by other human sufferings. Women turned away from human anomalies in disgust, children covered their eyes with horror, and men scornfully looked at the creatures that hardly deserved to be called humans. Humiliated creatures without any hopes for dreams or a different fate were often the ones who wanted a chance to live a normal life and sometimes they were even more normal than people looking back at them with astonished eyes. In many cases, none of us would like to be in their skin and experience their sufferings. Despite this fact they were proud and courageous, loving, and filled with dreams about their future that would never come.
But what if the glorious show starts to lack the attractivity and wandering to distant locations brings fewer profits and more uninterested audience? What if the performer is no longer the subject of profitable business, becomes a burden, and needs to be ridden of?
In what situations does the human soul lose value to another person and when does one retain dignity and generosity without a sign of cynicism or resentment, or a sense of injustice towards the cruel surroundings?
Concept, choreography, direction: Lenka Vagnerová
Dramaturgy: Lenka Vagnerová
Music: Ivan Acher
Performed by: Andrea Opavská, Monika Částková, Vanda Šípová, Zuzana Veselá, Michela Kadlčíková, Patrik Čermák, Michal Heriban, Filip Martinský
Scenography: Jakub Kopecký
Costumes: Simona Rybáková, Jakub Kopecký
Illusions dramaturgy: Jiří Marek
Light design: Michal Kříž
Sound: Petr Taclík
Producer: Lenka Vagnerová & Company
Coproduction: Městská divadla pražská (Prague City Theatres), Eisfabrik e.V.
Project supported by: Capital City of Prague, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic