Usually, when I am celebrating ‘birthdays’ at ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, it is either for recordings at a recording studio or the occasional TV appearance (one of which, it occurs to me, I have recently missed). However, today there is a slight exception, giving an opportunity to highlight Valinka’s theatrical work at the Divadlo Rokoko in her early career in the public eye.
28th September 1970, when Valinka was still just eighteen, marked the first stage performance of the Divadlo Rokoko’s production of ‘Pan Pickwick’, based on the Charles Dickens novel, ‘Mr. Pickwick’. In this, Valinka played the role of Márinka, the flower girl.
One of Márinka’s key songs in the production was ‘Dívám se dívám’ (‘I’m looking to watch’), with music by Zdeněk Petr and libretto by Ivo Fischer with Vladimír Raška’s Orchestra providing the instrumental accompaniment. As one finds oneself remarking when considering work from Valinka’s early career it is a performance of astonishing maturity for a teenage Pop Star about to cover a song originally by a novelty Bubblegum Pop act such as Lancelot Link and The Evolution Revolution (‘Dávno nejsem hloupá’).
If one goes to Page 2 in the following album (third photo in the first row, the fourth and fifth in the second row and the first in the third row) one can see some photos of Valinka in the role of Márinka, taken by Vilém Sochůrek – the photographer who captured Valinka’s atmospheric artistry on the cover of ‘Když mě chceš’/’Proč se ti zdá’, both recorded on the final day of the 1960s and her striking beauty and adorable cuteness in the cover shot – and two others from that shoot – that adorned her singles from early 1974 to 1977. Please, also, do not overlook Valinka’s close friend from the Divadlo Rokoko days, Jitka Zelenková, in the role of Emilka, in the second and third photos in the first row and the first in the second row on Page 1 of the album.