Play / Dance performance
Directed by Matjaž Pograjc
Produced by Anton Podbevšek Teater
Opening night: September 13 2018
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The staging explores the remarkable life story of long-distance runner Emil Zátopek, also known as the Czech Locomotive. Zátopek—the only athlete to win three long distance events in the same Olympic games—was renowned for his unorthodox and brutally tough training techniques. He once famously said: Pain is a merciful thing. If it continues without interruption, it dulls itself. Ironically enough, the faster Zátopek ran, the harder it became for him to outrun the rigid, heavy-handed Communist regime. The authorities vaunted him as a national hero while keeping a tight rein on him. During the 1968 Prague Spring, Zátopek addressed the crowds on Wenceslas Square, denouncing the Soviet invasion. As a result, he was expelled from the army and the Communist party, and was forced to work in a number of inferior and hazardous positions, such as a uranium mine. 

The play—the 20th collaboration between director Matjaž Pograjc and Silence—was written by Boštjan Videmšek.

The score blends pre-recorded electronic and acoustic pieces with the marimba and acoustic drums, which are performed live by Petra Vidmar. The closing song, Laufsong, is a musical adaptation of William Shakespeare's Sonnet 130.

01 Pain is a Merciful Thing
02 The Interrogation
03 The Interrogation / Version 2
04 Wenceslas Square
05 Laufsong / Marimba Version
06 Laufsong