Strakonický Dudák

Theatre: Východočeské divadlo Pardubice
Premiere: 14/01/1995
Igor in role: Švanda Dudák


The theme of the game comes from a folk tradition. Tyl was inspired by the South Bohemian legend of a bagpipe who played under the gallows. Bagpipe Švanda would like to marry Trnkovic Dorothy, but for old Trnka Švanda is too poor groom. Švanda decides to make money for the wedding by playing bagpipes, despite the arrangement of a friend of Kalafuna. Švanda's mother, the fairy Rosava, wants to help her son. Therefore, he enchants his bagpipes, Švanda is very successful and even invites him to the royal palace to heal the sad Princess Zulia. However, his secretary will be the devious Vocilka, who wants to abuse his art and enrich themselves. Eventually, his friend Kalafuna and Dorothy help him.

The premiere of Strakonický bagpipe took place on November 21, 1847 at prague's Estates Theatre and already in its time it became a dramatic story, which of all Tyl's works gained the greatest popularity. Since the Czech Revival Theatre relied on audiences from the lowest layers of spectator, dramatic stories became very popular. The few Czech bourgeoisies also expressed their positive opinion of the game. Karel Havlíček himself, who was fundamentally in opposition to the Tyl conception of revival art, at that time violated his principle of not writing about the Czech theatre at the time and wrote about strakovice bagpipe: "no one left the theatre dissatisfied".

In performances of this type, it's always been about fixing and saving some hero who makes mistakes. The varied situations helped the author to create supernatural figures. The hero eventually manages to correct it and everything ends happily. Tyl, however, applied the general rules of this genre in a completely distinctive way. The game is unique in how it combined a typical Czech village and the world of fairy-tale creatures. The fairytale form he chose gives him great space for imagination, all the better we can more deeply understand the character and nature of the characters. In Strakovice Bagpipe, Tyl embodied the dramatic conflict as the antidote to two typical characters: Švanda fluctuates between the influence of a loyal friend of Rosin and the cunning impostor Vocilka. It is precisely for their typical "Czechness" and for the great impressiveness of the whole theme of the game that Strakonický bagpipe is still playing today. In addition, tyl deepens the characteristics of all characters, creating traditional Czech types from them.