The style of Elfriede Jelinek, Nobel Prize Winner, is quite arrogant; she criticizes the society even tougher than Ibsen did (the full title of the play, i.e., What Happened after Nora Left Her Husband; or Pillars of Society contains references to two of his writings: A Doll’s House and Pillars of Society). This is a fantasy on the theme how Nora’s story could have continued. By Jelinek’s acknowledgment, she sees Nora as an utmost negative: even after she had released herself from her marriage, she kept being busy as a bee to please men, without any whatsoever understanding of the patriarchal society’s basics. The algorithm of her actions could be formulated as following: only those who know how to use other people can possibly win. Jelinek places Nora in the 1930s, the times of economic crisis and the impending war.
The first night took place on May 15, 2010, on the New Stage of the National Theatre of Czech Republic
Media about the performance
Katerzhina Vinterova overmastered the New Stage of the National Theater in the role of Nora who has just left her husband. In the talented and well thought Mikhal Docherkal’s production the actress showed a perfectly profound job. Her Nora is multifaceted. And Vinterova feels confident in all her images which she is able to change flash-like. Her actor playing is quite different from anything one can see on the Czech stage.
Director Mikhal Docherkal approached interpretation of the play through the language of farce and music, this is why the performance came out full of songs, irony, and burlesque. Composer Miloš Orson Štědroň wrote music at the interface of jazz-rock and modern classics. The female choir taking part in the events brings in a special mocking tone: first, it plays the role of female workers and members of the socialist union; later on, they turn into house wives in well-ironed blouses.
Elfriede Jelinek comes out with criticism of the dominating form of civilization, the patriarchal one, where the only standard is reaching success and profit at any expense. However, the major message of the play has general humane and not only feminist character. This play by Jelinek, Nobel Prize Winner, could be interpreted as a forecast of an imminent catastrophe: war is the only thing awaiting a society living under the law of unlimited enhancement of profits. And women are no less guilty than men, if they agree to play under their rules. The “intellectual language” of the play, poisonous and sharp, is far from being simple. One needs a fine sense of style, soft extravagance, ability to hit the mark. This is why Katerzhina Vinterova’s impeccable playing manner deserves a very special attention: she is so convincing that it is hard to imagine any other actress in the role of Nora. Jelinek quite openly raises the question about the woman’s place in the society. However, her feminism is not at all that straightforward as it might look. Her brutal irony eliminates men, but it does not spare women too. This also happened to Nora whose image she had borrowed from Henrik Ibsen’s play.