All stories Special

Hanif Kureishi – the famous British author on Prague, Islam and multiracial societies in Europe

17-04-2012 15:17 | Sarah Borufka

Hanif Kureishi Undoubtedly the most famous guest at this year’s Prague Writers’ Festival, the British novelist, screenwriter and playwright Hanif Kureishi rose to international fame in 1985, with his screenplay for the film “My Beautiful Laundrette”. Since then, he published the novel “The Buddha of Suburbia” to great acclaim and continues to write extensively, both for the screen and works of fiction. Ahead of his first reading at the festival, I asked him about his work, why he enjoys the short story form and if he had previously visited Prague.  More

The stories of Dvořák’s symphonic 'Bouquet'

09-04-2012 02:01 | Christian Falvey

Wherever you are in the world, if you are an occasional listener to your local classical music station then you have probably come across Antonín Dvořák’s set of symphonic poems from 1896, opuses 107 to 110. What you may not know is that they describe a series of stories very dear to Czech culture, Kytice, or "The Bouquet".  More

Markéta Irglová and Marek Irgl: Daughter and father on her Oscar success and much more

26-12-2011 02:01 | Ian Willoughby

Markéta Irglová In this special programme, we meet the Academy Award-winning musician Markéta Irglová and, for an unusual perspective on her success, her father, Marek Irgl. As well as the impact of her Oscar win in 2008, the subjects discussed include Markéta’s beginnings in music, how bandmate and ex Glen Hansard has influenced her career, the writing of “Falling Slowly”, her new solo project, and distance and family ties.  More

Carp and Carols with the Nightingales

25-12-2011 02:01 | David Vaughan

Slavíčci A few days ago David Vaughan went to meet the Slavíčci – or Nightingales – one of Prague’s best-known children’s choirs. He talked to members of the choir about the rich tradition of Czech Christmas music, about why you might find yourself sharing your bath with a carp in the days before Christmas Eve, and what it’s like to sing beneath the towering Gothic vaults of Saint Vitus’ Cathedral. And, of course, the choir also brings us some of the best loved Czech carols, recorded especially for Radio Prague. That and more, in Radio Prague’s special Christmas Day programme. Happy listening.  More

Stage managing Prague Castle - Zdeněk Lukeš remembers Václav Havel

22-12-2011 | Christian Falvey

Zdeněk Lukeš When Václav Havel came to Prague Castle, it meant a complete upheaval not only of the old system of governance, but also of the way things were run at the historical seat of the president itself. One of those who has been at Prague Castle since the very outset of that period is architect and art historian Zdeněk Lukeš, who worked closely with Václav Havel on revamping the castle and shared in the exuberance of the early administration. Speaking here with Christian Falvey, he recalled working with Mr Havel in the Civic Forum, the first post-Communist political movement.  More

Václav Havel’s literary agent Jitka Sloupová on his plays, their foreign productions and his image as an author

21-12-2011 | Jan Richter

Václav Havel The late Václav Havel is now being remembered as a great statesman and human rights advocate. But he was also a prominent literary figure. In fact, before he became an opposition leader in communist Czechoslovakia, he was already established playwright whose plays appeared on stages worldwide. Václav Havel’s literary agent Jitka Sloupová, from the Aura Pont agency, talks about what inspired his dramas that quickly gained acclaim both at home and abroad.  More

Tomáš Sedláček: Only now we will slowly realise the gift we had in Havel

20-12-2011 17:07 | Christian Falvey

Tomáš Sedláček Continuing our commemoration of the late president Václav Havel we talk with Tomáš Sedláček, the renowned economist who, in 2001 as a precocious university graduate, came to work for Mr Havel as an economic advisor at the age of 23. In a special interview, he began by describing his first meeting with the iconic figure.  More

Václav Havel - 'Guardian Angel'

19-12-2011 13:32 | David Vaughan

Gerry Turner and Gordon Truefitt This play is vintage Havel, his only radio play, dating back to the first half of 1968, when he was at the height of his creative powers. Not long after it was completed, Soviet tanks brought an end to the reforms of the Prague Spring, and for two decades the play was left on the shelf.  More

Václav Havel: from "bourgeois reactionary" to president

18-12-2011 15:49 | David Vaughan

Václav Havel was born in 1936 into a family that the communists with their love of labels used to describe as "bourgeois-reactionary". There is certainly no denying that the family was bourgeois. For several generations they were one of the wealthiest and most influential Prague dynasties. Václav's grandfather built the famous Lucerna Ballroom and his uncle was the founder of the Barrandov Film Studios, which laid the foundations for the Czech film industry. But in describing the family as "reactionary", the communists were doing the Havels an injustice.  More

Museum of Communism offers foreign visitors a glimpse of life behind the Iron Curtain

18-11-2011 10:11 | Daniela Lazarová

Museum of Communism On Prague’s Na Prikope street, in the very heart of the city –right next to McDonalds – is a Museum of Communism. What comes as a surprise to many locals and foreign visitors is that this private venture is the work of an American businessman who owns a number of bars and restaurants in the Czech capital. Glenn Spicker came to Prague 17 years ago, on a wave of interest in the post communist world. Unlike others he launched a successful business venture and stayed. As Glenn gave me a tour of the museum, he explained what made him branch out so far from his field of enterprise.  More

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