Prague’s Divadla Na Zábradlí (Theatre on the Balustrade) swept the boards at the annual Theatre Critics’ Awards on Friday night. It was named Theatre of the Year for 2014, its Velvet Havel was named Production of the Year and it picked up several other gongs in other categories. The winning production was a dramatic, music-infused interpretation of the life of late president and playwright Václav Havel, whose career took off at the theatre in the 1960s. The awards are organised by the magazine Svět a divadlo.
Anyone interested in English-language theatre in Prague will do well to look up tickets for productions by the Prague Shakespeare Company, founded by the Texas-born Guy Roberts, who is also its artistic director. The company has a much anticipated production of Twelfth Night coming up at the Kolowrat Theatre as well as other plays on. More
Current AffairsBritish ambassador to perform in upcoming English-language production of Twelfth Night
The Prague Shakespeare Company is now rehearsing a new production of Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night to premiere at Divadlo Kolowrat in March. The production is already garnering plenty of attention, not least because one of the main roles will be performed by Great Britain’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, Jan Thompson. More
Earlier this month, Cirk La Putyka (one of the Czech Republic’s most acclaimed New Circus companies) and project manager Štepan Kubišta launched Jatka 78, a new theatre and experimental multi-media centre expected to bring new possibilities and new work to the Czech theatre and art scenes. More
For the first time ever, non-Czech audiences have the chance to get acquainted with Jára Cimrman, a unique phenomenon of Czech culture. The fictional character has enjoyed immense popularity with Czech audiences for more than five decades. One of the Jára Cimrman plays - The Stand In – was recently translated into English and is now being staged in Prague’s Jára Cimrman Theatre by a group of Prague-based, English speaking actors. I went to see the final rehearsal. More
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