7 nights....35 companies....38 shows.... 180 performances ... 6 venues. The Prague Fringe Festival - the Czech Republic's own version of the famous Edinburgh festival - is underway in Prague this week. A real treat for theatre buffs it offers the cream of new talent from around the world - from rainbow bubble theatre for kids to the raw, powerful testimony of a man fighting cancer. From slapstick to sexy, from a one woman jazz/cabaret show to a one-man Hamlet - in its fifth year the Prague Fringe Festival has more to offer than ever before. If
The Khamoro world Roma festival is once again under way in Prague. For the eighth year running Roma musicians have been flocking to the Czech capital from all over Europe and the United States to perform everything from Gypsy jazz to traditional Roma folk songs. The festival has also been offering film screenings, book readings, and an exhibition of photographs. It all culminates with a gala concert of traditional music and an international seminar - a tribute to Milena Hubschmannova, who founded the Romany studies department at Prague's Charles
This week the Czech translation of one of the most fascinating and widely discussed books on the history of Central Europe to be published in recent years went onto the bookshelves. The book "Microcosm", by the English historians Norman Davies and Roger Moorhouse, looks at the history of Wroclaw, the capital of the southern Polish province of Silesia and one of the great cities of Central Europe. Wroclaw, known in German as Breslau and in Czech as Vratislav, is just a few dozen kilometres to the north of the Czech border and has had a long, often
Late 1943. The cold barracks of the Terezin ghetto stand against an autumn sky. Although deportations to the camp had come to a standstill earlier in the year, the overcrowded conditions, disease and hunger still remained. As did the ever present threat of the gas chambers. But on this occasion the usual sounds carried through Terezin's bleak corridors were interrupted by very different strains.
This week the people of Prague have a chance to hear Frank Zappa's music, thanks to the efforts of the American rock musician's sons, Ahmet and Dweezil. They have organized a European concert tour called "Tour de Frank", and are performing in honour of their father, who died in 1993. There is a special connection between Frank Zappa and the Czech Republic. Zappa's music belongs to a repertoire once-banned by the communist censors, and Frank Zappa himself gained huge acclaim in Prague following the Velvet Revolution.
This week's edition of Czech Books is bit of a departure from our usual format. We're still looking at a writer, but Alice Nellis is more than that. An award-winning film director and producer of several theatre productions, she brings her words to life on screen and stage alike. She and Radio Prague's Brian Sabin discuss her newest work - Zaplavy, or "Floods" in English - which is now showing at Prague's Theatre on the Balustrade.
The punk rock band The Sex Pistols outraged many in 1970s Britain with their foul language and obnoxious behaviour. Their clothing - held together with safety pins, often adorned with offensive images and slogans and sometimes simply adapted bondage wear - was also controversial. It was made by Vivienne Westwood, who is now one of the world's most respected fashion designers. In Prague for a show on Wednesday night, she recalled the impact of her punk clothing.
One of the most famous attractions of Prague's Old Town is the former Jewish Ghetto, a witness to the long and rich Jewish history of the Czech capital, and also to centuries of discrimination. The gradual emancipation of Prague's Jewish population began with the Enlightenment in the 18th century. As some Prague Jews grew wealthier and more self-confident, as well as more secular, the first portraits began to appear. Some depicted the spiritual leaders of Prague's Jewish society but others showed well off members of the community and their families.