OF MICE AND MEN

OF MICE AND MEN

  • Genre Drama
  • Stage Drama Theatre
  • Premiere18. February 2017
  • Length2:00 hod.
  • Number of reprises42
  • Final performance26. January 2019

a drama about dreams and friendship

In 1937, the renowned American writer John Steinbeck drew from his own experience to write a tale about two roamers searching for seasonal farm work. The story was both prosaic and dramatic in form. Simple-minded hulk Lennie Small and his protector George Milton come to work on a ranch in the Salinas valley in California. They dream of getting their own house with a farm for the money they make. Unfortunately, George´s efforts to protect Lennie against the evils of the surrounding world turn out to be in vain. Lennie, who isn´t aware of his huge strength due to his mental handicap, likes stroking soft things. This fondness, whose consequences forced the two friends to flee their previous place of work, results in tragedy also here, a tragedy which is preceded by the deadly petting of a mouse and a puppy. Lennie unintentionally breaks the neck of a young woman who tries to get closer to him out of admiration for his strength...

The title of Steinbeck´s novel and theatre play refers to (aside from its basic meaning) the poem To a Mouse by Robert Burns, where he says: “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.”

This emotional and strong story is an idiosyncratic comment on the powerlessness of human illusions and the uncertainty of human fate. The character of Lennie Small, one of those people whom “God left unfinished”, combines social commentary on the state of the world with the story of one individual. The contrast between bodily strength and mental weakness completely embodies Steinbeck´s cult of simple-minded primitives whose inability to live in this world is balanced by their closeness to God and nature, and their possession of the fundamental attributes of kind humanity.

Author

  • John Steinbeck

Directed by

Assistant director

Costumes

  • Eliška Lupačová

Dramaturgist

Světelný design

  • David Kachlíř

Text adaptation

  • Petr Gazdík, Jiří Záviš

BRNO’S OF MICE AND MEN – A CHAMBER DRAMA ABOUT HOPE AND FRIENDSHIP

Kateřina Šebelová 1. December -1 zdroj www.epochtimes.cz

(…) As far as acting is concerned, the central duo of the simple Lennie (Jakub Uličník) and his protective friend George (Ondřej Studénka) stands out. Thanks to his physique (among other things), Uličník seems made to play Lennie. The role of a simpleton with immense physical strength that contrasts with his passion for soft and brittle things is well balanced and touching. Uličník´s interest in obeying George at any cost as well as listening to his ideas is completely natural and believable. In addition, Uličník´s acting is a clear example of the way he can play both comedy characters and serious roles with natural lightness. It’s a praiseworthy and excellent performance that shows Jakub Uličník was definitely the right choice for the part. The character of George, played by Ondřej Studénka, stands in opposition to Lennie´s simplicity. Studénka knows how to get the most out of the role, displaying endless patience coupled with the necessary level of anxiety and irritation to work as a skilful foil to Uličník’s Lennie. The actors form a balanced duo which comes across completely naturally in this chamber work, without overacting or unnecessary gestures, and it must be Ondřej Studénka’s best performance to date. He brings out the hardness of his character’s life with surety and ease. Karel Mišurec, making a rare appearance at this theatre, also does a decent job. He is convincing in the role of old Candy, who’s meandering through life with resigned acceptance but gets all fired up about a new and unfulfilled dream. Igor Ondříček also fails to disappoint as the African American Crooks, who has to fight against prejudice and misunderstanding due to the colour of his skin. The only woman present – Kateřina Marie Fialová (Curley´s wife) – confirms her honourable place in the ensemble with persuasiveness and charm. Jan Brožek is also great to watch in the role of her jealous husband, Curley. The production Of Mice and Men offers a deeply humanistic tale that shows how friendship and hope can overcome almost anything.  The two-hour-long play by the American author and holder of the Nobel and Pulitzer prizes for literature John Steinbeck is set in the 1930s but has a certain timelessness. The Brno theatre’s production team stuck to a recipe of non-opulence, simplicity and a chamber atmosphere in order to let it shine. (…)

 

 

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