Jan Antonín Pitínský
POKOJÍČEK / THE GIRLS' ROOM
A short poem about rain
2 women, 3 men
Pitínský's The Girls' Room is inspired by Kafka's Metamorphosis. However, the perspective is reversed. The action takes place in a cramped high-rise flat in front of the little room into which the eldest daughter of the family, Marie, has locked herself. No-one can enter the room. The housing-estate family of The Girls' Room is anaesthetised by a banal apathy, by absurd, almost ritualistic family stereotypes, and memories which show clear traces of "high-rise living". The pile of corpses (here all three siblings, Marie, Jiří and Lída) is only the visible side of a death which is in such conditions latently present the whole time. What seems irrational in the characters' behaviour is really only the result of their "fatal" contamination. As in exaggerated symbolism, the little room in which Marie locks herself is a symbol of protected territory; emotionally, an area of childhood cleanliness, of quiet, ordinary happiness threatened by the degenerating surroundings. After the death of their children the arrogant parents take it over and "make it comfortable". Marie, isolated in the little room, is the "only one alive here" as Victor, Lída's suitor, says,intuitively recognising the rottenness in the family. On giving a verdict over the dying Lída, who has just killed her sister out of jealousy, he disappears in confusion.
An almost too eerie concentration on the mysterious circumstances around the little room and the absent, always expected Marie, gives the action a tension associated with horror movies. Unlike Godot, Marie really does arrive in the end. (Marie Reslová: Co se stalo v Pokojíčku, Svět a divadlo, 1993/4)
/.../ the most important quality of the play: Pitínský's disjointed linguistic expression, grasping the vagueness of the family's vegetating, of a way of life whose common denominator is banality as a total "loss" of meaning, as the slavery of habit, as an internally anesthetizing factor, murderous only in the second place. (Zdeněk Hořínek: Redukce a plnost, Literární noviny, 17. 6. 1993)