The Czech minister of culture, Jiří Balvín, on Friday reinstated the director of the National Theatre, Jan Burian, a day after he dismissed him. Mr Balvín was ordered to do so by Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok. The culture minister fired Mr. Burian, who was appointed by a previous minister, on the same day he took over at the National Theatre, a move that met with strong condemnation across the political spectrum; it also led a number of leading actors and its entire management team to quit the institution. Mr Balvín said he did not consider the matter a reason for him to step down.
The Rusnok cabinet has been forced to backtrack on the latest in a series of high-profile dismissals. The head of the National Theatre Jan Burian, who was sacked on his first day in office on Thursday, has been reinstated on the orders of the prime minister. Nevertheless, the affair has sparked widespread condemnation and once again raised the question of the government’s right to make radical changes ahead of its vote of confidence in the lower house next Wednesday.
There has been a stormy response to the dismissal of Mr. Burian as National Theatre director. The Social Democrats’ Bohuslav Sobotka called for his reinstatement and described Minister Balvín’s move as scandalous and unacceptable. The former coalition government’s choice for prime minister, Miroslava Němcová, said that her party the Civic Democrats would not now hold a scheduled meeting with interim prime minister Jiří Rusnok because of the sacking and other “purges” his front bench had carried out, the news website Lidovky.cz reported. TOP 09 described Mr. Balvín’s action as alarming.
The minister of culture in the interim Czech government, Jiří Balvín, has dismissed the director of Prague’s National Theatre, Jan Burian, just one day after he took up the post. Mr. Balvín said on Thursday that he had fired Mr. Burian, who was hired by a previous minister, because he had not been appointed following a selection process. Mr. Balvín said using such selection processes was the only way to ensure changes on the political scene did not lead to constant changes in management positions.
The lower house’s subcommittee for culture is set to discus both the dismissal and suggestions that the minister could remove the heads of other bodies in the arts, such as the National Gallery. Meanwhile, the managements of the National Theatre and the State Opera have resigned en masse in protest at Mr. Balvín’s decision.
Clowns, puppeteers, acrobats, mimes and many other striking, colorful and often frightening street artists will take over Prague’s center on Monday as part of the annual street theater festival Behind the Door (Za dveřmi). Around twenty troupes from more than 15 different countries will be performing next week in the afternoons and evenings in the heart of Prague, at Wenceslas Square. It will be the fifth year of Behind the Door, and for this week’s Arts, Masha Volynsky had a chance to speak to a member of the festival team, Adam Ondráček, about
The corruption and spying scandal that toppled the centre-right government of prime minister Petr Necas will be the subject of a new play by a group of young actors who specialize in political satire. According to the internet news site lidovky.cz director Tomas Svoboda is working on a play centring around the love triangle of the outgoing prime minister, his wife and his mistress and chief-of-staff. The play will reportedly contain authentic dialogues from police wiretappings. It is expected to premiere at Prague’s Divadlo pod Palmovkou in the autumn.
Divadlo Hurvínka a Spejbla – the theater of Hurvínek and Spejbl – has been a favorite destination for children in Prague for the past 65 years. It is home to the country’s most popular puppets, father Spejbl and his son Hurvínek. The Dejvice theater just returned to its original location that was closed down for two years due to renovation. Sarah Borufka visited the new space and even met the voice behind the puppets.
The 12th annual Prague Fringe Festival begins on Friday evening in the Czech capital. As always, the fest offers a wide range of theatre from all around the world. Prague-based playwright Stuart Mentha, following on the success of his debut, Déjà Vu, last year, is also back. Friday sees the premiere of his new play ‘False Friends’. He told us more about it at Czech Radio this week.
Prague gas workers checked for potential gas leaks across the city over the course of Monday following an explosion in the capital that damaged buildings near the National Theatre earlier this month and injured around 40 people. The amount of an olfactory indicator added to natural gas has been doubled to help residents detect leaks. Anyone in Prague suspecting a leak should call line 1239.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”