A JOURNEY TO AMERICA BY SHIP AND DOWN AN ARTESIAN WELL or THE ROASTED PIGEONS

J.K.Tyl, Vlastimil Peška
   A JOURNEY TO AMERICA BY SHIP AND DOWN AN ARTESIAN WELL or THE ROASTED PIGEONS

12 men and 7 women (May also employ a greater number of actors.)

The discontent of the Czechs is well documented. The view that everywhere else roasted pigeons fly straight into one´s mouth is somehow typical of us, and indeed is deeply ingrained. As is our maxim to the effect that all´s fine everywhere, but home is best. Our classical playwright J.K. Tyl explored such themes in a number of his plays – the most famous being The Strakonice Piper. Similar motifs are employed in two others: The Wood Nymph (or, The Trip to America), as well as another almost forgotten fantastical farce entitled To Africa Through the Center of the Earth. Vlastimil Peška has composed, while building on the themes of these two plays, a third one: an entirely original comedy. At its start, it also deals with the longing to liberate oneself from tight constraints, set out into the world, make a fortune and in so doing find love – and here too, wandering and plodding about turn out to represent elusive mirages of happiness and bliss. Here as well we witness the inevitable return, and the realization that home is home, and that joy and contentment cost nothing. Thus the concluding sentiment: “Long live golden Czech hands and the golden Czech heart”. Unreal adventures are experienced in the comedy, whose heroes travel to the New World by peculiar means: not just by ship, but also by digging into the earth through to the other side – thus the artesian well. The viewer is also treated to several tunes and a slew of hilarious situations, as is to be expected from an author, musical composer and director all in one – Vlastimil Peška.