Whistle Down the Wind

Whistle Down the Wind

  • Genre Musical
  • Stage Music Theatre
  • Premiere24. October 2015
  • Length2:30 hod.
  • Number of reprises28
  • Final performance1. February 2018

A mysterious musical

It is no longer necessary to introduce the king of musicals Andrew Lloyd Webber to our audience, as they have already had the opportunity to see many of his world-wide hits at our theatre. Out of all of them let us mention at least Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita and Cats. From the new season, yet another title from the workshop of this wizard of the musical theatre will adorn our repertoire. Whistle Down the Wind is a musical inspired by the film of the same name from 1961 which became very popular mainly in the Anglo-Saxon world. The film script was created according to a novel by Mary Hayley Bell and was nominated for five British film awards. It tells the story of three farm children from Louisiana who, by chance, find a mysterious man in their barn. Influenced by the stories which they listen to at Sunday school, they consider him to be Jesus Christ. In reality he is a fugitive on the run from the police, but the children try to help him every way they can and keep him hidden. The plot weaves the innocent world of children together with the cynical adult world and is an emotional story in which imagination meets reality. With this production, we continue our systematic work with child actors that has been on-going for many years.

Produkce

  • Zdeněk Helbich

Author

  • Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Jim Steinman
  • Patricia Knop
  • Gale Edwards

Directed by

Assistant director

Projection

  • Petr Hloušek

Music production

Music arrangement

  • Martin Wiesner

Choirmaster

Accompaniment

Language collaboration

Dramaturgist

Assistant choreography

Alterations

  • Petr Gazdík, Klára Latzková

Asistentka kostýmní výtvarnice

  • Adéla Kučerová

Light direction

  • David Kachlíř

Hlasový poradce

  • Lenka Bartolšicová

Asistentka choreografie dětských rolí

  • Tereza Škodová

Sound supervision

  • Andreas Bruell

Asistent režie - děti

  • Jana Gazdíková

Sound Direction

  • Milan Vorlíček

Rošťanda

Ubožáček

Boone

Edward

Kněz

Hadí kněz

Muž

Company - dospělí

Swing - company / offstage

Company - děti

Offstage - děti

FIND, TRANSLATE, DIRECT, ACT

Josef Herman 24. November 2015 zdroj Divadelní noviny

(…) The story intertwines several lightly-outlined life stories. The most significant of these is the first love and hesitant entry into the world of adults of young Swallow, performed excellently by Eliška Skálová – she sings with confidence and gives an exact portrayal of a character standing at the border between childhood and adulthood. (...)

The other main characters alongside Swallow are her siblings, the approximately twelve-year-old Brat and the (let´s say) eight-year-old Poor Baby. Swallow acts as a substitute for their deceased mother – well, mysterious and moving stories are always handy at Christmas time, particularly if they are told with a bearable level of sentiment and a bit of humour, and they don´t slip to tearfulness – and this is what was achieved in Brno (although more sensitive individuals in the audience did fail to hold back the tears). The child actors are excellent: Alena Juračová´s intonation is precise and she plays Brat completely naturally. Apart from giving the character of Poor Boy the touching form of a long-haired little boy, Adam Gazdík plays him with a certain scepticism. He doesn´t believe in promises or miracles, and every now and then he sadly utters a completely fitting remark that sends shivers down one´s spine. They make a great trio! Petr Gazdík doesn´t decorate the role of the Man in any way either, he keeps its secret, singing the confession bitterly in the manner of a mature man who has got to know how the world is. As director he leads his colleagues to provide the same no frills performance. He plays through the situations factually and almost curtly on a simple stage nailed together with planks of wood – as with everything in this musical, the set also oscillates between roughly drawn descriptions and areas where space is left for the imagination. Nothing is certain here, everything can be presumed, every life story can have a symbolic interpretation. A reliable orchestra is a given “at Moša´s”, just like the theatre company, lighting and video projections. It is a well-coordinated machine. Most important of all, they have created a decent, high quality production of a remarkable piece. I appreciate such work.

 

 

WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND, ANOTHER MUSICAL BY ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER

Iva Bryndová 19. November 2015 zdroj www.musical.cz

(…) At the premiere, Alena Juráčková played Brat, while Josef Gazdík took on the role of Poor Baby. Both of their performances were precise, their singing and acting were excellent, and energy and enthusiasm for the piece radiated from them, just as it did from all the other child actors at the premiere. (...) Eliška Skálová played their older sister, Swallow, at the premiere - a girl who is just a little younger than she is herself. However, it is definitely a role which she was meant to play. It gives her plenty of space to show off her acting and singing talent, and she makes full use of it. She is convincing in all aspects of the role, whether she’s being a responsible older sister, a young woman who is falling in love for the first time, or a lonely girl who is completely dedicated to her belief in the identity of the mysterious Man, which she assigned to him herself. She was one of the stars of the premiere, alongside Petr Gazdík, who both played the main character and directed. His decision to cast himself in this role was also perfect. He sings brilliantly, and he also has enough space to act while portraying an ambivalent and mysterious Man whom the children consider to be Jesus - to his own surprise – and whom the adults searching for him consider to be dangerous criminal. (...) All the performances are in fact excellent; let´s mention, for example, Ondřej Studénka in the role of Earl, a strange young man who has a mainly acting role in the musical, or the rebellious Candy, who provides an opportunity for Viktória Matušovová to show the full force of her voice in several songs. (...)

 

REALITY VERSUS CHILDHOOD DREAMS

Lukáš Dubský 30. October 2015 zdroj www.i-divadlo.cz

(…) Despite the numerous cast, this new musical is more of a chamber piece, an intimate story about faith and the need for love and understanding, and is also about human anger and partiality, which can have unforeseen consequences. (...) The child actors are really worth mentioning this time. I probably won´t be telling anyone anything new if I praise their acting again. Child actors are often merely required to know the text and make a naturally cute impression on stage. However, Adam Gazdík (Poor Baby) and Alena Juráčková (Brat) have an almost astonishing feeling for timing and the culmination of situations, which is likely to also be due to the clever hands of the director. Brno City Theatre has probably gained a new musical star in Kateřina Marie Fialová, who played the role of Swallow. It is a pleasure to watch how well she manages such a demanding role, both acting and singing-wise, so perfectly at the age of 18. Petr Gazdík (the Man) sings and acts as reliably as always - who would expect anything less of him? (...)

 

WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND

Kateřina Šebelová 27. October 2015 zdroj www.epochtimes.cz

(…) A great number of actors appear on stage. Nearly twenty children, about fifty adults and a thirty-eight member orchestra – and that is really a lot. Scenographer Emil Konečný chose natural materials which evoke a village environment for the set. The actors move around in a wooden barn full of hay bales or in houses made of wood, and also in a deserted railway tunnel. The rest of the night and day sky, as well as the changing landscape when riding on a motorbike through the city, are created by the masters of light projections, Petr Hloušek and David Kachlíř. (...)  Andrea Kučerová’s costumes suit the period as well as the given situations. (...) As far as the adult actors are concerned, Petr Gazdík in the role of the Man dominates the stage, and he delivers a practically flawless singing and acting performance.

It needs to be pointed out in Petr Gazdík´s honour that he also directed the whole piece. Out of the female members of the cast, young Eliška Skálová in the role of Swallow is perhaps the most engaging. Her clear beautiful voice and simple yet purposeful depiction of the good-hearted Swallow suit her well. Dušan Vitázek doesn´t disappoint either in the role of disorderly motorbike rider Amos. Tomáš Sagher, too, deserves praise for his role as the father of the children – the farmer Boon. (...)

 

 

WHISTLING DOWN THE WIND: THE LESS FAMOUS “LLOYD WEBBER PIECE” WON OVER SPECTATORS AS SOON AS THEY HEARD ITS FIRST SOUNDS

Vítězslav Sladký 27. October 2015 zdroj www.musical-opereta.cz

(…) The basic plot line is the story of a Louisiana farmer’s children who find a mysterious wounded person in a barn. (...) The story depicts the meeting between the illusionary pure world of children and the cynical views of adults. This story about the embodiment of childhood dreams was rendered still more attractive when the composer enriched it with an unusual number of likeable melodies. The stream of pop hits, musical-style songs, children´s chorals and slow ballads gets the spectators´ interest right from the beginning. (...) Petr Gazdík translated the piece, adapted it, directed it and also played the main role excellently. Gazdík could consider himself to be a specialist in musicals with a large number of child actors. However, it is the first time that children have acted under Gazdík´s direction in a serious, psychologically complex story which may seem somewhat like a fairy-tale but certainly isn´t one. (...) Emil Konečný’s stage set, as well as Andrea Kučerová’s costumes, are a bit more artistically economical than is usual for the epic musicals produced at Brno City Theatre. Their aim is not to attract attention but rather to illustrate the emotionally powerful story. The choreography, which was produced by Carli Rebecca Jefferson, has a similar function in the plot. However, even the best instrumentation wouldn´t be successful without the enthusiastic and heroic performance delivered by the musical’s orchestra under the careful leadership of conductor Dan Kalousek. (...)

Vítězslav Sladký, www.musical-opereta.cz, 27. 10. 2015

LLOYD WEBBER IN THE HANDS OF EXPERTS

Jana Soukupová 26. October 2015 zdroj Mladá fronta Dnes

Brno City Theatre has chosen to perform another piece by hitmaker Andrew Lloyd Webber, the musical Whistle Down the Wind from 1997, which has never been shown in the Czech Republic before. (...) Even though (...) we will only learn here once again that the purity of the heart of every child will probably be irrevocably damaged and trampled into the dust over the course of its life, the musical is still very good. There are two reasons for this: the music was composed by the master of musical magic, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and also the top professionals of Brno City Theatre are behind the production. And that’s why one visits musicals after all - to experience the perfection of great music, excellent acting, singing and dancing, and flawless harmony between all the other aspects of the show. During the premiere, Petr Gazdík´s great singing was accompanied by the really professional performance of his small son, Josef Gazdík, who played one of the three main siblings. The role of a new-age Mary Magdalene perfectly suited Eliška Skálová, who was excellent, not only thanks to her temperament but also due to her impressive singing ability.

 

A CLASSIC WHISTLES DOWN THE WIND

Jiří P. Kříž 26. October 2015 zdroj Právo

(…) Their imagination excited by dreams of Christmas, a group of children from a motherless family centred on 3 kids named Swallow, Brat and Poor Baby see Jesus Christ in a mysterious man, who is presented to the spectators as a possible escaped convict. The conflict between the world of children and the territory of adults can be represented as a dispute between life which is yet unspoilt - without crookedness and crushing doubt - and the evasion of adult ideological preoccupations, whether they are social, religious or political. (...) Two qualities justify the performance of Whistle Down the Wind on the Czech stage. The first of these is Lloyd Webber. (...)  And then there is the professional performance of the seventy-member acting ensemble, which has no competition on the Czech theatre scene. Petr Gazdík´s perfectionism in the role of the Man and flawless Dušan Vitázek as the young dandy Amos dominated everything at the first premiere. Everyone will appreciate the lyrical, almost child-like expression of Swallow, played by Eliška Skálová, and behaviour of her opposite, character-wise, in Viktória Matušovová’s performance as Candy. All of the children in the show are cute, and Josef Gazdík (Poor Baby) most of all. (...)

 

 

WHISTLING DOWN THE WIND, CHILDREN´S VOICES AND THE RAW SOUND OF GUITARS

Magdaléna Baumannová 26. October 2015 zdroj www.mestohudby.cz

A wide space for nearly twenty children to act in, excellent performances by the adult soloists as well as the orchestra: Brno City Theatre’s premiere showing of the production Whistle Down the Wind. (...) Directed by Petr Gazdík, who also played one of the main roles, the production is a gradually escalating show. The voices of the children contrast with those of the extensive choir and the solo parts delivered by the main protagonists. The orchestra under the direction of Dan Kalousek was in very good harmony with the singers and sometimes dominated the whole theatre perfectly, i.e. in the rock-like passages in the second half of the performance. Webber´s music has, just like in his other musicals, the variety of a symphony with a great number of rock elements. The music starts off in a lyrical (and perhaps somewhat boring) vein but develops into grand ensemble songs, demanding solos, and most enjoyable of all, dynamic orchestral numbers in which the crisp sound of the guitar can also be heard. (...)

 

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