Astorka Korzo Theatre ’90 in Ottawa

Astorka 200They say that humor is the spice of life, the massage of the soul and the most noble form of human feeling. A pinch of this quality spice was brought to Canada's capital on Sunday, November 10th by a group of young and enormously talented actors from Bratislava's Astorka Korzo '90 theatre. This cultural undertaking was organized by Ottawa's Canadian Slovak League Branch 63.

In the comedy show "On whom the word falls", performed in a sold out hall at Ottawa's St. Richard's Anglican church, directed by Peter Mankovecký and in the presence of Mr. Vladimír Černý, director of the Astorka theatre, the following actors were introduced in alphabetical order: Róbert Jakab, Juraj Kemka, Vladimír Kobielsky, Lukáš Latinák, and Marián Miezga. For their graduation production of "On whom the word falls" at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, they received the most prestigious award of Slovak theatre critics and theorists – Dosky '98 in the Discovery of the 1997/98 Season category.

The author of this very popular comedy show, which has success all over the world including Slovakia where it has been one of the most favoured theatre titles for over ten years, is a Hungarian writer, poet, director, and politician Gábor Görgey. Entirely in Slovak, the actors presented not only in Canada and internationally in Europe, but in Sydney, Australia and Los Angeles, and together gave over 250 performances.

One gun and five potential owners in a locked room – this is a short way to describe the atmosphere of the crazy comedy that will entertain and make you laugh, but will also outrage and shock. The weapon passed from the hands of the racketeer and prisoner Cuki, to Mr. Noble, an intellectual Baker, and a proud patriot Martin, until it got to a toady K. Müller who stayed loyal to whoever was the owner of the weapon at that moment. Sooner or later, regardless of the original intentions of the individual heroes, the power of the weapon started to control them.

A few familiar Slovak and folklore songs brightened the play, such as Peter Dvorský's "The most beautiful corner in the wide world" and the familiar folklore song "The red tile, white stove", which brought back memories of childhood.

Amongst the enthusiastic audience was the Slovak Ambassador, Mr. Milan Kollár, with his family, who, during an interview for the Slovak Spectrum television program, praised and warmly recommended the performance to those who were not able to experience their "massage of the soul" live with the actors that evening.

It is no secret that what one gives with joy is reciprocated with joy. This unforgettable evening was no different, full of bursts of laughter and good humour. The unique performances, the joy and the energy that radiated from the young actors were reciprocated with enthusiastic applause, ardent thankfulness, and friendly invitations for another visit.

Text: Maria Habanikova, Photos: Tibor Dej