Memory of Nation


Zdeňka Kratochvílová (1936)

 Zdeňka Kratochvílová (1936)
We’ll meet up in two years, we’ll be loyal, and we’ll do pantomime again!

The occupation in 1968 and the journey to Beckett

“We were woken by a terrible racket, sometime around four or five in the morning - tanks! Russian tanks driving up Nerudova Street. So that’s what woke us up in the night from 20 to 21 August 1968. We all wondered how to react, what to do, what it meant for us, whether to emigrate or stay, and so on... We already had a tour organised in Switzerland, a whole series [of performances - trans.], so the question was whether to go on the tour or not. We did in the end, by which I mean to say that we decided that our reaction would be to honour our agreement and to go perform in Switzerland. But Fialka and I travelled to see Samuel Beckett in Paris. He lived in La Sainte Street, I think, a magnificent street, on a high floor. We looked out of his window at La Sainte Prison, where the inmates walked round in circles, down below. And basically he said... In that sense it was very human, a lot of commiseration... not commiseration, but an understanding of the situation, the bad situation that had occurred here. So he looked at us, allow me to give a rough summary: ‘You decide yourselves if you will stay, that’s a personal matter.’ So he didn’t say: You’ll be miserable at home, stay here - no no. Fialka was dismayed, he said we wanted to know what, whether... well, simply that we had to work it out for ourselves.”

  • born 14 November 1936 in Prague as the second of three children
  • her family owned a villa in Hanspaulka; they were forced to take in lodgers after 1948
  • her father was a lawyer who fell ill due to the strain of the new regime and was unable to work; the family was provided for by her mother, who worked as an accountant
  • graduated in dancing from the conservatoire in Prague
  • a member of the pantomime group of Ladislav Fialka
  • co-founded Na Zábradlí Theatre and played in its first production, Kdyby tisíc klarinetů
  • 1969, married Ladislav Fialka; divorced a year later
  • after the divorce, left Na Zábradlí and began performing with her own character - Notaword the Clown
  • founded the Pocket Theatre with the director Lída Engelová; children’s plays
  • from the mid-1970s, taught at the Prague Conservatoire, later at DAMU with Ivan Vyskočil
  • 1980s, under State Security surveillance due to her meeting with Pavel Tigrid in Paris and her friendship with the dissident Petr Kabeš
  • still teaches at the Department of Authorial Creativity and Pedagogy at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU)
Pro spuštění videa je nutný nainstalovaný přehrávač Adobe Flash Player.
Materiály jsou převzaté z portálu a veškerá práva k užívání těchto materiálů vycházejí z práv konkrétních projektů na tomto portále. Více se dočtete v profilu pamětníka zde.