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Ginsberg's 1965 visit inspires play

STAGE DIRECTOR Viliam Klimáček has created a new play for the GUnaGU theatre in Bratislava entitled Ginsberg in Bratislava (beat generation 1965). It tells the story of American poet Allen Ginsberg’s visit to Bratislava in 1965.

STAGE DIRECTOR Viliam Klimáček has created a new play for the GUnaGU theatre in Bratislava entitled Ginsberg in Bratislava (beat generation 1965). It tells the story of American poet Allen Ginsberg’s visit to Bratislava in 1965.

The play opens on October 3 and 4, Linda Wagnerová, the theatre’s production manager, told the SITA newswire.

During his stay, Ginsberg was accompanied by poets, musicians, and, of course, the communist secret police (ŠtB). Klimáček studied documents from the ŠtB file, which is preserved on microfilm, while writing the play.

Ginsberg stopped in Bratislava for a short time after he was deported from Cuba, where he had been working as a journalist.

He came to visit the poets Ivan Štrpka, Peter Repka, and Ivan Laučík, who organised a public reading at the Theatre of Poetry. In the end, however, the joint reading was banned, and only Ginsberg was allowed to participate.

Klimáček also used oral testimonies from the poets while writing the play. He dedicated it to the Lonely Runners literary group, which consisted of Štrpka, Repka, and Laučík.

The show includes a unique film shot from March 1965 in Bratislava by Ginsberg and Peter Repka.
An important part of the show is live music – blues, Ursíny-style rock-and-roll, and alternative rap by Marián Jaslovský and Dano Heriban.

After the conclusion of the play, the GUnaGu will show a 10-minute rap based on Ginsberg’s seminal poem Howl.

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