For some years after the fall of communism, Czech audiences avoided any kind of theatre that might have been perceived as political. After decades of putting up with politics at every level of life, they had simply had enough. But today political drama is back with a vengeance. With a mixture of masochism and schadenfreude, Czech audiences are relishing new plays and productions that comment on contemporary political life with biting satire. David Vaughan reports.
This January, a number of theater and dance troupes from the Czech Republic participated in an annual international APAP performing arts festival in New York City. The Czech Centre in New York hosted all of the Czech performances this year, for the second year in a row, at their Bohemian Hall space in Manhattan. In this week’s Arts, we spoke to the director of the Czech Centre in New York, Pavla Niklová, about organizing the performances for APAP, how some of the pieces resonated with a New York audience, and what Czech theater companies can bring
‘Limonádový Joe’ (Lemonade Joe) is a cult sixties Czech western cum musical about a lemonade salesman in the Wild West. The film started life as column in a newspaper written by Jiří Brdečka during the war, before becoming a theatre play, and then finally the all-singing, all-dancing, film production Czechs know and love today. Tereza Brdečková is a film critic and the daughter of Jiří Brdečka, the man who conceived the movie:
Various activities are being prepared for celebrations in the run up to the Chinese New Year. Alongside a traditional dragon boat race on the Vltava River and a performance by Chinese singer Feng-yűn Song, Petra Lorenzová’s Kung Fu School in Prague is putting together the final touches for a performance at Palác Akropolis, a popular club in the city. I went along to one of the training sessions at the school on a Monday night to find out how things were coming together.
In this week’s Sunday Music Show we will introduce you to the popular band Nightwork, whose music can be described as satirical, absurdist or just plain silly. But the six-member all-male band is completely entertaining. We will hear the two songs that won them a serious following, some of the music they wrote for film soundtracks and you’ll learn a bit about the band’s history and what some of its members do beside making music.
In today’s edition of the Arts we meet American scholar Kathi Diamant, who has spent years researching and writing about her namesake – Dora Diamant. Dora was a Polish émigré living in Berlin when she met Czech writer Franz Kafka for the first time in 1923. She became the great novelist’s last lover – spending the final eleven months of his life with him in a shared Berlin flat. Kathi Diamant has just written a book about Dora, titled ‘Kafka’s Last Love’. She spoke to Radio Prague’s Anna Kubišta about how she originally became interested in the
The new HBO miniseries Hořící Keř, or Burning Bush, receives a gala premiere at a Prague cinema on Wednesday night and kicks off on TV screens next Sunday. Over 23 years after the fall of communism, it is, remarkably, the first film treatment of one of the most dramatic moments of modern Czech history – the self-immolation of Jan Palach in January 1969.
Don’t miss this week’s edition of the Sunday Music Show with our guest Jan Žampa, the frontman for the talented and popular alternative pop band Eddie Stoilow. He joins us for the full 30 minutes to talk about everything from his career to life in Malta, kickboxing, and a unique upcoming event with none other than former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
If Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath and Ivana Trump were locked up together in one room, what would happen? In the world of theatre, anything is possible, and in Radka Denemarková’s “Spací vady“ (Sleeping Disorders) this is exactly what happens. David Vaughan talks to the author about her remarkable play.