The Tiger Lillies: Here I am Human!

Musical morality at Divadlo Archa Sept. 17-22 Staff

Written by Staff Published on 15.09.2010 13:23:41 (updated on 15.09.2010) Reading time: 4 minutes

The Tiger Lillies, Jocelyn Clarke, Jiří Havelka –
Zde jsem člověkem!
Here I am Human!

Musical morality with The Tiger Lillies

September 17, 18, 20:00 – preview performances
September 19, 20:00 PREMIERE
September 20, 21:00, September 21, 22, 20:00 ENCORE PERFORMANCES

The Archa Theatre opens its fall season with the premiere of a new production Zde jsem člověkem! Here I am Human! The new project, a collaboration between the British band The Tiger Lillies, director Jiří Havelka and Irish dramatist Jocelyn Clarke, will premiere on September 19.

The work of The Tiger Lillies straddles the border between cabaret, Brechtian songs, punk and contemporary music. In addition to concerts, the world-famous trio have created theatre projects, such as the “junk opera” Shockheaded Peter, which won Britain´s prestigious Laurence Olivier Award, or the production of Circa with Canadian dance company Holy Body Tattoo. The Tiger Lillies´ songs, besides dark humour and vulgarity, are full of bizarre characters and life stories from people on the fringes of society. The voice and composer of the songs, Martyn Jacques, shifts from crude, tawdry singing to operatic falsetto.

The Archa Theatre has in recent years become a home stage for The Tiger Lillies. Ondřej Hrab, the artistic director of the theatre, said: “After a series of annual concerts we approached the band with an offer to create an original musical show for the Archa Theatre. The Tiger Lillies accepted the offer and created a number of new songs, which are thematically linked to François Rabelais´s medieval novel Gargantua and Pantagruel. The lyrics of these songs are characterized by the distinctive logic of depravity, the world turned upside down, constant oscillation between “upper” and “lower” social classes and fascination with various manifestations of carnality.”

Irish dramatist Jocelyn Clarke, who was involved in the creative process, and who in the past has worked together with American director Anne Bogart, among others, has set the explicit lyrics of The Tiger Lillies against the concept of etiquette and the rules of social behaviour, which unlike the world of Gargantua attempt to suppress all manifestations of carnality and the emotions. The director of Zde jsem člověkem! Here I am Human! is Jiří Havelka (1980), under whom the production developed as an open process, where the final form of the script, dramatic action and images was the result of a creative collaboration between performers, director, playwright, stage setter and musicians. Joining The Tiger Lillies on stage will be Jiří Zeman Sönmez in the role of moderator (a member of the band Krepsko, he appeared at Archa in Exit 89), actress Zuzana Stavná (who has appeared at Archa in Plačky, Exit 89 and Leaving), dancer Jiří Bartovanec and long-time member of the Berlin dance company Sashy Waltz.

The performance is in English and Czech with subtitles.

Jocelyn Clarke has worked as a dramaturge at Dublin´s Abbey Theatre. She regularly works with the SITI Company of American director Anne Bogart. Czech audiences have had the opportunity to see the production of Bob, in which Clarke used various interviews with Bob Wilson. Clarke currently teaches scriptwriting at the National Film School in Dublin and lectures at the Sundance Theatre Lab in Utah. She also teaches dramaturgy and theatre criticism at the Samuel Beckett Centre at Trinity College in Dublin, at the Dartington College of Arts and at Columbia University in New York.

Director Jiří Havelka won the Alfred Radok Award in the Talent of the Year category in 2007 and is a member of the artist group Vosto5. His productions of Člověče, zkus to! (DAMU), Drama v kostce (Studio Ypsilon) and Černá díra (Dejvické divadlo) have won many awards. In 2008 he created the musical production Exit 89 – A Tragic Operetta for the Archa Theatre.

The Tiger Lillies –  Martyn Jacques (lyricist, vocals, piano, accordion), Adrian Huge (drums, percussion, toys) and Adrian Stout (bass guitar, saw, vocals) was formed in 1989 in London. Dark, dirty and passionate songs full of black humour and irony explore the shadowy sides of human existence. Their discography contains 26 albums including the latest Cockatoo Prison, which was created this year as part of a project for the Biennale in Sydney. The Gorey End, which they recorded with the famous Kronos Quartet, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the classical crossover category. At the Archa Theatre in addition to concerts the band has also presented the multimedia project Mountains of Madness, in which they collaborated with Alexander Hack (Einstürzende Neubauten) and American artist Danielle de Picciotto.

Music and lyrics: The Tiger Lillies
Director: Jiří Havelka
Script: Jocelyn Clarke (based on song lyrics and collective improvisation)
Sets: Vladimír Němeček
Dramaturgy: Ondřej Hrab
Featuring: Tiger Lillies (Martyn Jacques, Adrian Huge and Adrian Stout), Jiří Zeman Sönmez, Zuzana Stavná and Jiří Bartovanec.

Premiere September 19, 2010



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