A walk down the High Street in Scotland’s capital Edinburgh might normally present you with scenic views and the chance to buy some whiskey and woolens. But not so during the month of August, when the thoroughfare is transformed by the city’s fringe festival and, more specifically, the hundreds of performers clambering to sell tickets to their shows. Now in its 61st year, the Edinburgh fringe is said to be the biggest arts festival on the planet, attracting performers and visitors from all over the globe. This year, more Czechs are on the bill
People come to the South Moravian town of Mikulov, located right on the border with Austria, for many things – historic monuments, folklore, and wine. But only few would expect that the town boasts a large collection of contemporary art, created during 15 years of summer art symposiums. The Mikulov Art Symposium “dílna” or workshop concluded its 15th year at the weekend with an exhibition of this year’s works at Mikulov chateau.
Czech singer Veronika Diamant decided at a very early age that she wanted to be a jazz musician. She studied music at the Prague Conservatory and is currently working on her new album. If everything goes according to plan, it could be released in spring of next year. When I met with Veronika, I first asked her when she discovered the world of music.
The Edinburgh fringe is one of the biggest arts festivals in the world, with the Scottish capital more than doubling in population during the three weeks each August when the fringe takes place. Parks, churches and even public toilets are all transformed into venues, attracting performers and visitors from all over the globe. This year, five Czech theatre groups are in Edinburgh to perform at the festival. They are part of the ‘Czech Republic @ The Fringe’ season, coordinated by Ladislav Pflimpfl from the Czech Centre in London. I caught up with
My guest for this edition of One in One is Rachael Weiss, an Australian writer who has recently published a book called ‘Me, Myself and Prague’. As the title suggests, it sums up in a very amusing way, what it is like for a foreigner to come and live in the Czech Republic without knowing the people or the language. When I met with Rachael, I first asked her what made her come to Prague.
There is a long tradition of poets writing about Prague, such as Jaroslav Seifert and Vítězslav Nezval, and I was interested to find out how contemporary, rapidly changing, Prague has inspired one of the most interesting poets of the younger generation to find new ways to express the spirit of the city. Vít Janota has written a collection called, Praha zničena deštěm or Prague Destroyed by Rain, and its subtitle is Praga caput regni, the ancient Latin motto of the city.
Vít Hořejš established the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre in 1990 after coming into possession of old puppets that had been gathering dust for decades in the attic of an old Czech church. The group’s performances – often based on classic Czech tales – feature both puppets and live actors. When I visited its studio in Brooklyn, Vít, a Czech who’s been living in New York for decades, told me all about the origins and activities of the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre.