Mammon Is Reason That Has Forsaken Me!
Personas is a monodrama that explores just what theatrical illusion is capable of. It is largely based on the solid foundation of commedia dell'arte, which it then abandons and transforms into buffoonery and a feast of fools. The performance included a part with a speech to the audience who do not understand Czech, having most likely been added for festival purposes. They were assured that even though the text is a significant component of this work, an intense experience can be had through the merely observing the acting. And, undoubtedly, that was the case.
The show, lasting about three-quarters of an hour, can be divided into three parts that differ in theme and acting style. The audience witness the performance of the character of the greedy Pantalone, a bitter homeless - a clown and a fool all in one. In the end, even the actor Prokop Štěpánek becomes a dramatic persona.
In the first part, we learn that the person on stage has always wanted to be an actor and play the guitar. During the recitation of an inner monologue exploring his deepening of the knowledge of what the theatre is, he discovers that the reality on stage is different from the reality behind the doors of the theatre hall. That is why any object can be a tennis racket and a guitar at the same time.
In addition to his favourite pastime of counting his fortune, Pantalone, wearing his mask and typical costume, also accuses the audience of trying to steal from him through taxes and social redistribution. The money-obsessed Pantalone delights in soliloquies and passionately recites odes to wealth. These are composed of distorted versions of well-known monologues. What Pantalone does not manage, the fool does. The character of the lewd, hunchbacked homeless man somewhat to the extreme exploits the privileges of a jester. He can thus insult morals, faith, and the audience openly and with impunity. At times, he uses very distasteful expressions; however, he also wittily glosses human characteristics. He shows what is most important in life and, at the very end, demonstrates what love really means.