One on OneCimrman English Studio aiming to bring much-loved comic character to wider audience, says founder Brian Stewart
In a couple of weeks’ time, audiences in Prague will get their first chance to see a Jára Cimrman play performed in English. Known as a dramatist, inventor, philosopher, traveller and all-round genius, the fictional character has been hugely popular with Czech audiences since the first Cimrman play in 1967. Ahead of the premiere of the English Cimrman Studio’s production of Záskok or The Stand-In, I spoke to its founder, Brian Stewart – what was his introduction to one of the best-loved comic figures in Czech culture? More
In recent years, the Czech Republic and Prague specifically have seen an increase in street performance or street theatre. This Saturday, visitors can see troupes perform in the city centre in V Kotcích Street – just a stone’s throw from Můstek, a central meeting point for both locals and tourists. The small one-day festival will provide shows for children and adults in a normally quiet street which used to be home to Prague’s first stone theatre, Divadlo v Kotcích (no longer standing). More
In FocusPlay about two extraordinary Shoah survivors from Prague enjoys two months’ run at off-Broadway theatre
This summer, an off-Broadway theatre in New York put on a play about the actress Hana Pravda and the athlete Miloš Dobrý, two extraordinary Czech Jews living in Prague before WWII. The documentary drama “The Good and the True”, which has run for two months, follows the life of the protagonists who however never met in real life. Originally written and directed by Daniel Hrbek for Prague’s Švandovo Theatre, the intimate play conveys the courage and determination which helped the two people survive the horrors of Terezín and Auschwitz. More
The Nové divadlo (New Theatre) was officially opened in the West Bohemian city of Plzeň on Tuesday night. The modern structure with a capacity of just over 450 was built at a cost of CZK 880 million. Among those in attendance on Tuesday was actor and theatre director Tomáš Töpfer, who said it was an amazing thing that the country had received its first purpose-built theatre in over 50 years. The first performance at the Nové divadlo was of Bedřich Smetana’s opera The Bartered Bride. Plzeň will be a European Capital of Culture in 2015.
Employees at the country’s highly-respected National Theatre can expect a little extra next year when it comes to their monthly paychecks. Funds, allowing for a salary rise for the institution’s employees, were agreed recently by the country’s finance minister, Andrej Babiš, and Culture Minister Daniel Herman. At the same time, it is clear that salary bump, long-term, is being seen as not enough. More
The 84th edition of the Jiráskův Hronov amateur theatre festival got underway in the North-eastern Bohemia town of Hronov on Saturday. Said to be one of the world’s oldest theatre festivals, it will feature 41 productions of various kinds, from experimental theatre to puppet shows, and over 100 performances between now and next Saturday. It is named after the locally born novelist Alois Jirásek, who was nominated four times for the Nobel Prize for Literature before his death in 1930.
This Friday allows visitors a final opportunity to take part in Za dveřmi, a street theatre festival which this week transformed Prague’s Wenceslas Square. The festival saw troupes from both the Czech Republic and abroad perform physical theatre, New Circus and much more. More
One on OneArcha’s mission to spark “unusual encounters” says founder Ondřej Hrab on 20th anniversary of theatre’s opening
In the last two decades, Prague’s Archa Theatre has firmly established itself as the country’s foremost space for alternative drama, dance and music, hosting such luminaries as Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, John Cale and Patti Smith. This month the venue is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its opening, so I caught up with the man who created Archa and is still its director, Ondřej Hrab. He told me in his youth he had hated watching plays – but chance encounters opened his eyes to a new kind of theatre. More
Sam Walters is one of Britain’s most acclaimed theatrical directors and during his four decades as artistic director of The Orange Tree Theatre in south-west London, the theatre has enjoyed an unrivalled reputation. In today’s Czech Books, he talks to David Vaughan about his very special relationship to the work of Václav Havel. More
A new production of Friedrich Schiller’s The Robbers premiered on Thursday at the Reduta Theatre in Brno. Directed by Thomas Zielinski, the production crosses 18th century Sturm und Drang with Quentin Tarantino – updating the Romantic period classic to a contemporary setting. More