Czech theatre buffs and visitors to Prague are in for a treat. The Czech capital is currently hosting a marathon of cutting-edge theatre from around the world -and there's something in it for everyone. The Prague Fringe Festival - which was a huge success last summer - is back with an exciting array of high quality theatre productions - non-verbal shows, plays in Czech, English, and French as well as shows for children. Fringe Festival director Steven Gove explains why he thought Prague was a good venue for an international theatre festival.
"Well, last year was our first year and we wanted to try and chose some shows that would be interesting for the local audiences, including some English language performances. There's a great tradition of German language theatre in Prague but I felt that there was a gap on the market. The people of the Czech Republic are learning and speaking French, are learning and speaking English all the time these days, so I felt it was an interesting thing to bring to Prague."
This years repertoire is an eclectic mix of theatrical productions from Europe, the US, Australia and Canada. Steven Gove again:
"We've got 27 different groups and 108 performances over the six days. Some of the key shows that jump to mind are... a show called "A one night stand" by a Norwegian theatre company. It's a very physical show. There's not much language involved. They speak English but it is not important to understand every word in order to get what is happening. It is a bit of a provocative show about taking people home and having a one night stand."
You are featuring Romeo and Juliet as well I understand?
"This is an interesting show because it is performed by inch high figurines. Ninja figurines. The show is performed by one man who manipulates these figurines on a briefcase-size stage and the audience are presented with binoculars when they enter the auditorium so that they can see the action close up."
What do you offer children?
"On the children's programme we have a specially commissioned show this year called "Throw me a bone". It is a short show about a dog who is waiting for his dinner to be presented to him and he has lots of dreams and fantasies and creative ideas as he waits."
Can you tell me how the audience has responded to all this ?
"So far we've had a great response. This is the second day and already we are selling lots and lots of tickets for each of the shows. Many of the venues are quite small so it doesn't take for there to be many people there to have a great atmosphere. Things have been going very well for us so far this year."
For more information and programme details please go to www.praguefringe.com.
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