SAY SOMETHING / Jiří Adámek & Boca Loca Lab

performance length: 60 min
no language barrier

Three women and three men conjure up an ever-changing web of relationships. They talk to each other, yet not a single word is uttered: they communicate with rasps and growls, chattering, scat, whoops and hollers. A theatrical language develops that is something between speech and song, sound and movement.

As a pre-Christmas gift we offer a special Saturday afternoon performance of this piece of kids and their parents, as often kids “get” this performance even more than adults.

„Each tone, each movement functions like a stroke of the calligrapher's brush on an empty canvas. All together they create an abstract (calli-) graphic picture, a dance or movement performance, and a musical composition.” Vladimír Hulec, Divadelní noviny

The source of inspiration was the observation of guests in cafés, of passengers in trams, but also the recordings of native communities in Africa, Asia, South America and North America.

„When I am writing for the theatre, I am compelled to leave the home. I have sat in cafés for years. In cafés the rearranging of tables and chairs and the positioning of the guests in relation to each other always create interesting constellations. Their gestures, their expressiveness or reticence, their gazes blurred with boredom or exaggerated gesticulations can betray a great deal. Often it is a surprising intonation that drifts over from other tables, but rarely do we hear individual words. We witness micro-stories that are all the more suspenseful when we never get their gist.

The decision to attempt such a mixture of coincidence and fortune, banalities and fatalities came when I read contemporary opinion about the formation of human speech. Specialists no longer talk of how people needed speech to hunt or to defend themselves, instead there is a predominant conviction that speech allowed for improved orientation in ever larger groupings, with more and more complex relationships.

Because we are interested in speech and voices that express instincts and desires, not intellectual notions, we decided to leave out actual words and stick with sounds, rhythms and melodies. The voice breaks free of the body and of the real situations in which the people find themselves on stage. Often they attract us or repel us and we can’t describe why. All this is discussed in “Say Something“, discussed through speech, but without words. The audience observes a web of real relationships and relationships on the verge of becoming real, relationships that can last either a lifetime or a few quick seconds. Everything happens at once and so audience members must decide who to give their attention to.

Much is said about our era being one of intense individuality. Yet we are still fundamentally dependent on human community, without it we could not develop properly, we could not survive; the loss of human community could mean for us an insurmountable sadness.“
Jiří Adámek

Boca Loca Lab is a creative platform for the realisation of theatre productions, scenic sketches and workshops. The group was founded in 2007 by Jiří Adámek, who has developed an original type of music theatre, in which he blends musically composed structure, stylized acting and a special approach to language (fragmentation and rhythm of words, play with semi-abstract accumulation of syllables and sounds).

Dramaturg Martina Musilová, choreographer Zuzana Sýkorová and designer Ivana Kanhäuserová are also part of the group’s essential artistic team. Actors Pavol Smolárik, Anna Synková, Vendula Štíchová, Daniel Šváb and Petr Vančura regularly perform with the company. All five actors are graduates of the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre (DAMU Academy, Prague). Under Adámek's direction, they are in the process of developing a non-psychological stylized acting approach based primarily on a specific technique of vocal expression.

Since the creation of his first full-length „musical-theatre“ type performance, Adámek has been awarded various prizes: the international award Music Theatre Now for Ticks Ticks Politics (2006) in Berlin and the Prize for original theatre expression at the KONTAKT 2009 festival in Torun. Adámek was also named Personality of the Year by the Next Wave Festival 2007 in the alternative theatre section for musical-scenic composition and its theoretical reflection. He received the award for best young director for The Europeans project at the 2012 MESS festival in Sarajevo.

Other performances by this group:
Ticks Ticks Politics (2006); The Europeans (2008); Teritorium (2010); Blaze (2011).
One of the company's most recent work Four Three Two One (Alfred ve dvoře Theatre, 2013) was developed in cooperation with composers Martin Smolka and Michal Nejtek. Its series of IMPRO concerts is based on the vocal creations of actors with microphones and their dialogue with the laptop of musician Mikoláš Růžička. In 2012 it ran a series of performances as part of the Four Days in Motion Festival with Berlin actor Dominik Stein, entitled 12 Milosrdných after the address of the old Prague flat in which it was presented. In 2007 it performed a staged sketch about the execution of Saddam Hussein Click on the Video, originally created for Czech Radio. There have also been radio versions of Ticks Ticks Politics (also broadcast in Germany, Austria and France), Marriage Moment Plays, and the studio version of IMPRO concerts called Dedicated to the Bathtub.
Supported by:
Motus, producers of the Alfred ve dvoře Theatre, Ministry of Culture of Czech Republic; the City of Prague.

Photo: Anna Šolcová Photo: Anna Šolcová Photo: Anna Šolcová Photo: Anna Šolcová Photo: Anna Šolcová