REVIEW: A fairytale morality about the soul and a consumer society

Its protagonist is the songwriter Krajíček, whose popularity is close to that of his representative Tomáš Klus. He loses things that he suspects are alienated by local homeless people. And so he sets out to solve it himself. He spends a night among the homeless that fundamentally changes his relationship with life.

The Branice miracle is closest to the mystical morality, reflecting on life and its values ​​in philosophical contexts. Medieval moralities had moral tendencies, and Klus’s song lyrics are from the same family. His and Svěrák’s visions of society are very idealistic, which corresponds to the fairy-tale conclusion, in which everyone miraculously improves and truth and love triumph over evil and hatred. There is a slight irony in this, but only a slight one.

The Branice Miracle is more of a musical fairy tale with songs than a musical, where the plot moves forward through singing. In Klus’s songs, the characters comment on the situation. Musically, the Klusov intimacy, embodied in chansons or protest songs, prevails, which is close to folk and does not resist the singing of the gospel. The live accompaniment is played by keyboards, guitar and lyric cello.

The appeal to the consumer side of our world has its expression even in the austere scene, where we work with recycled plastics and projection. In addition to the authentic Klus, the main role will also be played by a type-specific quartet of homeless people, including Professor Bronislav Kotiš. The whole cast radiates a pleasant feeling of joy and belonging, despite the occasional theatrical inexperience of director Jan Svěrák, evident from the not always skillfully arranged mise-en-scène and dialogues.

The Branice miracle will probably not bring any major surprises to the world of musicals. For lovers of Klus’s music and the kind humor of Svěrák’s films, however, it can be a pleasant evening. All the more so when it will be played on the indoor open air stage in Voděrádky, Říčany, in the summer.

Tomáš Klus and Jan Svěrák: Branický miracle
Libretto and direction by Jan Svěrák, music and lyrics by Tomáš Klus, choreography by Tomáš Rychetský and Denisa Musilová. Premiere on May 17 at the Fidlovačka Theater, Prague (written from the first rerun on May 18)