Multi-hyphenate (actor/writer/director) Oliver Horsfall is bringing his latest play entitled Tears to Divadlo D21 in Prague 2 this month. In addition to writing, directing and performing in the play, Horsfall also serves as Artistic Director for Donkey Drop Theatre at the venue.
Horsfall won the acclaimed Best of the Fest Award in 2015 at the International Youth Arts Festival in the UK for his first play, The Edge, and first premiered Tears the following year to rave reviews.
Tears tells the story of a woman (played in a slick bit of casting by Emma Byrne as the younger version of the character and, in the second act, by Amy Rush with Byrne playing her daughter) who is slowly losing herself to the cruel fate of Alzheimer’s Disease.
“I wrote it in reaction to a documentary by Louis Theroux called EXTREME LOVE: DEMENTIA,” Horsfall explained. “I started watching and, after only about five minutes, I was in tears. It just hit something inside me. The tragedy of loving someone and then losing them to the disease struck me as an interesting and powerful story to tell.”
The play has a universal message and it is the hope of the cast and crew that they can help to shed light on what it’s like to be both the person facing down the horrible disease… where one can feel things slipping away… and the loved ones who can only stand by and watch it happen.
In addition to being loosely inspired by the documentary, it was also inspired by true stories of families struggling with the various issues that come with the illness.
The experience of watching all of this play out on stage may seem like it could be a difficult emotional experience, and for some that may be true – particularly if they have known someone who has gone through it – but the play is more than just a straight-forward view of the struggles associated with the disease.
Mr. Horsfall approaches the material in a unique and refreshing way, taking audiences on a journey encompassing all that live theater can offer: From nuanced performances by some of the best performers in the city, to interpretive modern dance by Czech/American choreographer Iveta Elisabeth Lit, and all set to an original electronic score from film composer Petar Mrdjen.
Having spent so much time working on and developing the piece, Horsfall is excited to bring something new and exciting to the Czech theatre scene and hopes that audiences will be open to experiencing it.
“This is a visual, aural and physical spectacle of the mind,” he said, “with a cast of incredibly talented, committed individuals who have thrown themselves into this project. The attention to detail from all involved is present in every second of the play from beginning to end.”
The show, which runs an hour and forty-five minutes, runs on September 20th and 21st at 7:30pm (19:30) and the last showing is on Sunday September 22nd at 1:30pm (13:30) in the afternoon. Tickets are 300 CZK or 250 CZK for Donkey Drop Patrons, Students, Seniors or handicapped. You can purchase them by visiting https://goout.net/en/plays/t-e-a-rs/qxrle/