According to reports, a new play by former president Vaclav Havel, called The Leaving, will have its world premiere at Prague's Vinohrady theatre. The play is to be directed by David Radok, while Mr Havel's wife Dagmar, an actress by profession, will appear in the lead role, which Mr Havel wrote specifically for her. The agency behind the play, which has signed a contract with Vinohrady theatre, will now pursue the Czech-born US-based actor Jan Triska for another of the leads. The play is expected to premiere in May or June of 2008. The Vinohrady theatre picked up Mr Havel's play after negotiations with Prague's National Theatre met with failure earlier this month.
A trip to the theatre in the Czech Republic has long been within the reach
of ordinary people, and in Prague alone, there are scores of theatres to
account for all tastes. Theatre is not just the conversation topic of the
intellectual elite, but something you will hear discussed by many Czechs
down the pub. Why? It could be to do with ticket prices being affordable
most. And why can most people afford to buy a theatre ticket? Perhaps
because there is a strong tradition of the state funding the theatre.
Though all this could be about to
After a break of 18 years, the playwright and former Czech president Vaclav Havel has finally finished a long-awaited new play. Called Odchazeni (Leaving), it has been receiving some perhaps unwelcome coverage in the media. After a few months of talks with the Czech National Theatre, Mr Havel has now decided to withdraw his play from the theatre, because it refused to cast his wife Dagmar Havlova in the main role.
The story of Faust, the doctor who makes a pact with the devil in his pursuit of knowledge, has captured the imagination of some of the great Czech dramatists. In 1985, Vaclav Havel tackled the legend in his play Temptation, or Pokouseni, as it is known in Czech. Just under a decade later, animator Jan Svankmajer tried his hand at the story, producing a grotesque feature-film called Lekce Faust.
Productions of Faust are not hard to come by in Prague. It is a staple of the city's black light theatres, and posters advertising a high-profile production of the play earlier this summer can still be seen all over the town. But, on Wednesday night a production of the play with a difference was premiered. Rosie Johnston has the details:
Only a few blocks away from the Old Town Square is the oldest permanent puppet theatre in the Czech Republic. It is called Rise loutek (Kingdom of Puppets in English) and despite its fame and a tradition of almost 80 years it has always been largely made up of amateurs. Currently, Rise loutek has about 40 members, performs every Saturday and Sunday, and premiers two pieces per season. Klara Lichtagova has been with the theatre for eighteen years.
The outdoor Summer Shakespeare Festival at Prague Castle has been a great success in recent years. However, it is not the only such seasonal theatrical experience available to audiences in the city; Prague's Vysehrad, one of the most important locations in the history of the Czech nation, has recently being playing host to its own summer theatre project called Faust in Gorlice. Dita Salavova has more.
On Thursday, the Prague Quadrennial International Competitive Exhibition of Scenography and Theatre Architecture opened its doors to the public. The exhibition introduces visitors to the most up-to-date theatrical creations from all corners of the world. Up to 40 daily live events and activities will be held on the streets of Prague to accompany the ten-day event.
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Screenshot: a hybrid English-friendly Prague art-house cinema where screenings are events