Gymnázium sv. Cyrila a Metoda v Nitre

“HOW HEROES DIE”

 (English Drama Festival)

They have performed it two times already – the first time in Slovak language, and the second time in English. Both times in the Aula of UKF. The first time they weren’t very successful – the students did not like it (or to think) very much. The second time - in the English language drama festival called ‘Literary Characters on Stage’ – they were the best from 26 performances. The judges announced the name of their performance at the end of the festival. Big applause, hand shakes, “you were great”, a certificate given to the director, congratulations… The “Best Performance”, as the paper says. Well, thank you.

From a different view: on the attendance list was written the number of actors and the size of the audience which came to support each group. The average actors: audience ratio was 30:5. Their ratio was the opposite – 5 actors: 30 members of the audience. Maybe this explains the big applause they received. So how was their show? Let’s play it again. The actors are waiting. Now it is their turn. The last correction to the text. Butterflies in the stomach. Applause. And here they go. They are going to show us How Heroes Die.

Godfather is sitting in a bar. Hamlet comes in. He wants some juice. With or without ice? That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind? Oh no! Antigone sees Hamlet. She doesn’t like him very much. He is so obtuse - just like every man. Don’t you know Antigone is a feminist? She has no one who she can talk to because every main character is a man. Not to mention that at first she was acted by men.

Little Prince is also there. He wonders if it is not very hard for Godfather to carry such a big boa constrictor on his head. “Hey, boy, ragazzo, do not touch the Godfather! Can’t you see what an ugly day it is today? In addition, this is not a boa constrictor. It is just an ordinary Godfather hat”.

What a sad group of literary characters! Antigone, Hamlet, Little Prince and Godfaher are sitting in a bar and talking. Times are hard. If there weren’t theatres Antigone and Hamlet would have been dead right after the invention of the Internet. No one reads them. The Godfather agrees. But he is in a worse situation. They made a film about him. People no longer imagine him because they think they know what he looks like. And what happens with a literary character who is not read…? He has to be dead.

Fortunately, Little Prince is still read. But he is not satisfied either. Such a character, who is read all the time, works his fingers to the bone! And the worst thing is when someone reads him more than once, not to mention those primitive “readers” who only look at the pictures…

Hamlet thinks if it was up to him he would certainly have created himself better. What is wrong with him? Nothing, he is just better than his creator. And what about you? Don’t you think that God might have created you better? A smaller nose, longer legs, no freckles… You see, literary characters are just like “normal” people.

Godfather is dead. And the barmaid comes up with the proper question. “Is this creating really worth the trouble?” she asks. “And is it even worth it to be?” “Or not to be?” adds Hamlet. Is it? Tell me. It is sad to know that heroes die, isn’t it? Or do you think this isn’t the case? Literary characters live in our minds. Do not let them die. Read them. We need fantasy and dreams in our lives.

Big Applause!

Michaela Šimjaková

 

 

 

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