The Letní Letná festival of New Circus is back and well underway in the Czech capital. One of the headlining acts this year is LIMBO, a production which has gotten rave reviews, was reportedly seen by Madonna (twice) and, not surprisingly, has sold out. I was lucky to meet up in the Spiegeltent with troupe member Mikael Bres who told me all about the show, described as Heaven can wait – this is one hell of a party.
This week, Prague is hosting the seventeenth edition of the annual Nine Gates festival of Czech-German-Jewish culture. The event, which got underway on Wednesday, takes place at Prague’s Bubny railway station, where during World War II Czech Jews boarded trains to concentration and death camps. This year, the festival focuses on a lesser-known chapter in the history of WWII: Shanghai’s role in sheltering thousands of European Jews.
The Czech stand-up comedy tradition is a young one but over the last decade, largely thanks to HBO Czech Republic’s Na stojáka series, excellent talent has emerged, including now household names like Iva Pazderková and Lukáš Pavlásek. Increasingly, comedians from abroad are also including the Czech Republic on tour. On Tuesday, one of the biggest names in the business, American comedian Louis C.K., will perform at Prague’s Rudolfinum.
Today’s edition of Sunday Music Show is dedicated to the rock and blues singer and guitarist Michal Prokop and his 1972 album Město ER, which has been reissued on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Prokop, who has been part of the Czech music scene for over 50 years, marked the anniversary last weekend with a special concert in Loket. For the first time ever, audiences had a chance to hear a live performance of the art-rock composition Město ER, featuring Michal Prokop with his band Framus Five, accompanied by the Karlovy Vary Symphonic
Pavel Fuksa is a highly respected graphic designer and creative director who this week, together with City Hall, unveiled new posters addressing various changes in the capital, including the sidewalk ban on Segways. Fuksa has worked everywhere from Japan to the Middle East and in 2012 he was included on a list of the 20 Best Young Graphic Designers by Computer Arts. He has also done work for the Obama administration, as you’ll find out.
Prague City Hall has once again opened up the question of where to house the famous Slav Epic by painter Alfons Mucha. On Thursday, mayor Adriana Krnáčová suggested that the series of 20 paintings could temporarily return to the castle of Moravský Krumlov, where they had been on display until 2011. In the meantime, the mayor wants to find a suitable permanent space to exhibit the works.
A unique book called Sistine Chapel, initiated by the Vatican Museums, has gone on presale in the Czech Republic. The limited three-volume edition was published worldwide in only 1999 copies, with 100 available on the Czech market. The Czech edition will cost 229,000 crowns in pre-sale and 339,000 in regular sale, which makes it the most expensive book ever to appear for sale in the Czech Republic.
Some 60 Roma children from socially excluded localities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, along with members of the Czech Philharmonic, are taking part in the ‘Romano Drom’ music and dance workshop in North Bohemia. The aim of the summer school, organised annually by musician and choir mistress Ida Kelarová, is to support children and youth at risk of social exclusion. The two-week school will culminate with a series of performances, starting on Tuesday night in Nový Bor.