to the Crystal Palace in England, Folies Bergere in Paris, Berlin's Panoptikum
, St Petersburg's 'Arcadia' and the court of the Turkish Empire, the Universal Exposition in Paris ...
: It's easy, when talking about the "building blocks" of human existence, to forget that building blocks are toys, after all.
Among other Liberated Theatre cult plays we should mention: Golem (1931), Caesar (1932), Robin Zbojnik [Robin Hood] (1932), Svet za mrizemi [World behind Bars] (1933)--containing the famous blues number Zivot je jen nahoda [Life is Just Chance], Osel a stin [The Donkey and the Shadow] (1933), Slameny klobouk [The Straw Hat] (1934), Kat a blazen [The Hangman and the Fool] (1934), Vzdy s usmevem [Always with a Smile] (1935), Panoptikum
(1935), Balada z hadru [Ragtag Ballad] (1935), Nebe na zemi [Heaven and Earth] (1936), Rub a lic [Front and Back] (1936), Tezka Barbora [Heavy Barbara] (1937), and Pest na oko [A Sore Thumb] (1938).
Even the panes of the display windows became part of his "Panoptikum
," as the exhibition was called.
He undertook to establish that context in the early 1930s, adapting an exhibition model common throughout Europe during the nineteenth century--the Panoptikum, a mix of science fair, history lesson, and Mondo Cane wonderment (during the same century, P.T.
Housed in the cellar of the Hotel Wagner in Munich, Valentin's Panoptikum played games with traditional categories--science, re-creations of historical scenes, aberrations of nature, sundry wonders trivial or grand.