Havel's play Odchazeni in London

Havel’s play Odchazeni awaits its first foreign premiere tomorrow. The inscenation of the director Sam Walters takes place in the Orange Tree theatre in the Richmond Quarters. It is screened until 13th December.

The producer and art director of the theatre Sam Walters have said about the play for the Independent: “I am happy, we got permission to produce the play. According to my opinion, Odchazeni is one of the best Havel’s plays, it is theatre-rewarding and very funny. The play is the peak of cooperation which has begun in 1977.

“My political enemies waited for my return to theatre with hope, the play will be a flop and I am going to get it.” Vaclav Havel says with comment theatre brings him more pleasure than the politics now.

New Havel's play Odchazeni is a big success

What is Havel’s play about? A prominent politician leaves the politics after years of service, and faces all the drama around.

Havel himself thinks, “… The play … is quite strange. I was worried, how the audience will accept it. It is a very pedant and specific play, which was also going along with problems from the very beginning.” (He stated for Lidove Noviny)

Now it is clear his play is the real deal. Not only because it is directed by David Radok, one of the best Czech theatre directors of all times, and starrs Jan Triska, who acted in several Hollywood movies (People vs. Larry Flynt, Ronin..), not plainly because it was written by such an important person who Vaclav Havel is. Critics from Czech newspapers have agreed – Havel created a timeless play, often compared to Shakespeare’s King Lear.

The play was such a bell-ringer that it is going to be performed in the theaters world-wide including in New York and Washington. The article was inspired by

Vaclav Havel Play Odchazeni Premiere Tomorrow

The most expected theatre event is here. Tomorrow, the premiere of Vaclav Havel’s play Odchazeni (Leaving) in Prague theatre Divadlo Archa takes place. The directing job was done by David Radok, which is one of ours best directors.

Havel himself thinks, “… The play will be more a social event, than a scrape or a blast, which may have happened as well. Because it is quite strange. I was worried, how the audience will accept the play. It is a very pedant and specific play, which was also going along with problems from the very beginning. The way to the premiere was probably more tiring for me than the writing itself.” (He stated for Lidove Noviny)

The set was made in complicated financial situation, and if it wasn’t for gifts of private sponsors, it would have never been carried out, commented the director of Divadlo Archa yesterday. The choice of actors was, according to him, a miracle, it changed all the time, some roles were not taken until the first rehearsal took place. The way to what is now in Archa, was incredible and absurd.

Odchazeni: the new play by Vaclav Havel premiere soon

The long expected premiere of Havel’s play Odchazeni comes nearer. Even when there are always some new peripetia, three premiere performances takes place in Archa Theatre from 22th to 24th May, The owner of the theatre Ondrej Hrab announced.

The most discussed recent news connected to Odchazeni was that Vaclav Havel’s wife, actress Dagmar Havlova decided not to participate on the play, even when she already went through the script at half of the rehearsals. She denies that her leave from the theatre would have any other than health reasons.

Hrab underlines she participated very actively: “David Radok is a very demanding director and rehearsing was so intensive, the health state of Dagmar Havlova disallow her to continue. But I have to add, that her attitude, before she announced she has to stop, was very professional.”

New play by Vaclav Havel

vaclav havel smiling - the play is finished We waited 18 years for a new theater piece by Havel, and now it is possible to buy it in Czech bookshops. There has been a lot of buzzing around it, and as there is still some time left before the play could be seen, we can expect it to go on. His play is on the programme of theater Na Vinohradech in the end. Vaclav Havel’s new play is called Odchazeni (Leaving)

In the center of the play is a Havel’s typical indecisive, even weak intellectual, put in front of an important moral decision. Odchazeni is a story of a man leaving a high-ranking political position. The dilemma is, unlike in most of Havel’s plays, down-to-earth – the problem is simply the ex-politician leaving ‘his’ politic villa. What does Havel say about autobiographic-ness of the play?: “I think some journalists or viewers may try to see it that way … but I started writing this play back in 1980’s.”

On the other hand, Vaclav Havel admits that years in the presidential post provided him with various situations and motifs. Especially with new possibilities, as we can read phrases such as “…by that, we would increase employment, which would decrease unemployment.” Havel was always a master of a phrase damasking. For whom was the play written? Havel:

“… Odchazeni was written, just like my previous plays, for anyone interested and willing to come and watch … my pieces have been staged all over the world for all kinds of audiences.”

Odchazeni is being translated into English and other languages.

Theaters in Prague are threatened with bankruptcy

Some theaters in Prague may have serious problems at the end of the year. The city council stopped providing grants to them, because of the prosecution for reportedly discriminating system of grants. This situation may cause, that some theaters in Prague won´t be able to function.

The prosecution was brought to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg by Petr Kratochvil, co-owner of the Ta Fantastika Theater in Prague. Because of the threat of arbitration, the city council doesn´t continue in providing grants as it did so far.

Some theaters in Prague have therefore only grants to the end of the year. It is the case of, for example, Archa Theater, Semafor Theater or Divadlo Bez zabradli.

Vaclav Havel´s new play in Divadlo Na Zabradli?

The long-awaited new play Leaving (Odchazeni) by Vaclav Havel, the ex-president of the Czech Republic, might be staged in Divadlo Na Zabradli (Theater on the Balustrade). It was planned to stage it in the National Theater in Prague, but reportedly there are disagreements about the cast of the play: according to Pravo newspaper, the National Theater was unwilling to cast Dagmar Havlova (Havel´s wife) in the play.

Another reason might be Havel´s fondness for Divadlo Na Zabradli, which has staged most of his plays in the past. Also Vinohrady Theater may be chosen for the new play, there are still negotiations about that.

The new play of Vaclav Havel, world-wide appreciated playwright, will be directed by David Radok and its premiere is expected in May 2008.

Theatres in Prague with English subtitles

Would you like to go to the theatre in Prague and but don’t master Czech language? Read on, as two Prague theatres offer their repertory with English subtitles.

One of them is Svandovo divadlo (Svanda’s theatre) in namesti Kinskych. You can get there by trams no 6, 9, 12 and 20 (stop Svandovo divadlo) from metro station Andel or by no. 6 or 9 from metro station Narodni trida. Svandovo divadlo is focused mainly on drama. All shows in the Main Hall are with subtitls. The theatre has a barrier-free access and it’s air-conditioned. For the programme of the theatre click here.

Hybernia theatre in Namesti Republiky (metro station Namesti Republiky) offers musical plays. The recent musical Golem narrates the famous Prague legend. In autumn the theatre will also present the play Witches from Eastwick. For the programme of the theatre click here.

Faust in Vysehrad's casemate in Prague

Church of St Peter and Paul in Vysehrad From 29th June to 2nd July 2007 and from 7th to 17th July 2007 you can visit one of the theatre performances of Goethe’s Faust in Vysehrad directed by David Czesany. The performances will take place in the mysterious vault Gorlice inside the Vysehrad’s Casemate.

The performances start at 20:00, tickets can be bought in Komedie theatre, Ticketpro or in the booking office of the Old Provosty in Vysehrad for 333 CZK and 366 CZK.

The Gorlice vault in Vysehrad’s casemate contains several original statues from Charles Bridge. The permanent temperature in Gorlice is 16˚C (60.8 ˚F), which is the optimal temperature for the statues. Visitors are recommended to take warm clothes with them.

Contemporary theatre in Prague with plays of Egon Bondy

Bouda Bondy is a construction that you can see these days on the place between the National Theater and the New Scene (the glass building). This temporary construction will enrich Prague theater scene this summer.

It is inspired by a wooden construction situated on present Wenceslas Square in the times of Czech National Revival, where people could see Czech plays in Czech language, instead of the official German language. Bouda of these days contains 120 seats and measures 16 × 23 meters. The construction will be finished during May, the first performance there is planned for 16th June 2007.

The programme of this year will offer the works of recently deceased Egon Bondy, a famous Czech poet, prose writer and philosopher. Visitors can see theater plays based on five texts of his in ten reruns.

Russian male ballet in Prague today

Today for the first time Prague audience is going to see the performance of the State Male Ballet From Sankt Petersburg of Valeriy Mikhailovski. Their performances have been seen on the most renowned stages all over the world.

One of the best ballet dancers Maja Plisecka said about their performance: “I thought, that I dance Dying Swan the best, but I have to admit that Michailovsky is definitely better…”

The performance starts in the Congress Centre at 20:00 today. Tickets can be still bought via Ticketpro, Ticketportal or Ticketstream between 490 CZK and 1,190 CZK.

Open-air theatre in Divoka Sarka will be repeated

Divoka Sarka cliffs All those who would like to connect wandering in a lovely countryside outside Prague with an open-air theatre performance should write down to the date 2nd September in their diary the note Theatre in Divoka Sarka valley.

After the successful performances of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride performed by the singers of National Theatre in Prague, the theatre will offer Dvorak’s Rusalka this year. The main singer will be Helena Kaupova, the star of the last performances.

The open-air theatre was founded in 1913 and it played successfully until 1922. The tradition was revived two years ago. You can get there by trams 20 and 26 and bus 119 to the terminal stop Divoka Sarka.

New play directed by Milos Forman in Prague

Director Milos Forman Milos Forman, world’s famous director of Czech origin, is now in Prague rehearsing a new jazz opera Dobre placena prochazka (freely translated as Well Paid Walk), whose premiere will be in the National Theatre on 22nd April 2007. Tickets are available here.

The jazz opera was written by a couple of Czech authors Jiri Suchy and Jiri Slitr. The co-director of the opera is Milos Forman’s son Petr, the scene was designed by his other son Matej. The music will be performed by former Chief Conductor of Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Libor Pesek.

Milos Forman was awarded two Oscars and other prestigious awards. He directed many successful films, such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, The People vs. Larry Flynt, or the most recent Goya’s Ghosts.

The world´s largest scenographic exhibition in Prague

Prague Quadrennial, a big exhibition of stage design and theater architecture, will take place in Prague in June 2007. It will be an international competition of scenographers from 58 countries and the winner will receive the Golden Triga award.

The expositions will be placed in the Industrial Palace in the area of Prague Exhibition Grounds. There will be a section of national expositions, a students´section and a section of architecture and technology. Live shows will accompany the expositions the whole day.

Some events will also take place in the streets of Prague: there will be interactive installations, parades, fashion shows and various performances.

This unique opportunity to see current theater trends is intended not just for professionals, but for the general public as well. Visitors will have a chance to participate on some parts of the program.

Prague Quadrennial will be held between 14th and 24th June and a one-day ticket costs 120,- Czech crowns.

Musical Angelika starts today

Today is the premiere of new musical Angelika (Angelique), telling the immortal story of a beautiful lady and her live created by Anne and Serge Golon. There has been already 100,000 bookings of the tickets for the play until the end of the year.

“We want to create the atmosphere of a romantic fairy tale,” says the director Josef Bednarik. A lot of money was spent on costumes, especially on the dresses and jewellery of Angelika. Songs from the music play can be bought on a CD in music shops.

Angelika is played in Prague’s theatre Broadway (Na Prikope 31). Tickets can be bought in the box office of the theatre or via Ticket Art and Ticketpro. Tickets can be also reserved by phone (+420 225 113 311, +420 225 113 199). The prices of the tickets vary according to the position in the theater, from 699 CZK to 149 CZK. One of the performances will be visited by the author of the novels Anne Golon.

Golem in newly reconstructed Hybernia theatre

The newly reconstructed palace called Dum u Hybernu in Prague will be open to the public tomorrow again. The palace is situated opposite the Powder Gate in namesti Republiky. The theatre Hybernia that is seated in this palace will start its show with with the original Czech musical play Golem, a historical story from old Jewish Prague during the reign of Emperor Rudolf II.

The classicist building Dum u Hybernu used to be a church, then a custom office and finally an exhibition hall. For many years it had been decaying. It took a long time to reconstruct this building. According to the architect Michael Klang the theatre will be the most modern Czech musical scene. Theatre Hybernia will be an affiliate of nearby theatre Broadway.

The premiere of Golem (the legend of Golem) starts tomorrow at 19:00. The musical play by Karel Svoboda, Zdenek Zelenka and Lou Fananek Hagen will be directed by Filip Renc. Tickets are available through Ticketart, Ticketpro, in terminals of Sazka, in the box-office of Broadway theatre (Na Prikope 31) and in the box-office of Hybernia theatre.

The Musical Theater in Karlin returns

The restored Karlin theater will open again on 12th October. It has been modernized and made more comfortable for visitors. The theater was damaged by flood in 2002 and since then closed, the performances had to move to the Congress Centre.

The old hall of the Karlin theatre was built in 1881. Now it got a bigger stage, which was lowered a bit for a better view and also the number of seats was reduced to ensure a good view from every place. The theater now has a big turntable and the chandelier above the auditorium got its original appearance, as well as the historical curtain.

The theater will now be one of the most beautiful in Prague, thanks to forty restorers. Its first show will be the opening night of the American musical Producers, based on the eponymous movie from 1968. It has already been staged on Broadway, Toronto or London.

Karlin Theatre has the curtain back

Years passed since huge Prague floods in year 2002. One of the most damaged city district was Karlin. Now Karlin theatre comes alive. One of the strongest symbols of each theatres is the curtain. Karlin’s now has this symbol back.

The curtain has survived floods because it was threw up before the floods came. Because the theatre has been under restoration, the owners decided to restore the curtain too. Transporting such a large piece of heavy and coloured fabric from the end of 19th century was difficult, so the restorers had to roll the curtain to a cylinder.

The curtain has 8,3×12 meters and over four hundred kilograms so the curtain was restored at tennis courts in Zbraslav. Restorers had to dry, to line and to fixate the curtain before the own restoration.

Now the curtain will be used before each performance. First performance starts on 12th October presenting musical Producenti.

Finishing touches to reconstruction of Karlin Theatre

Despite the fact that Karlin Theatre still resembles a building site from the outside, only finishing touches remain before the reconstruction is completed next month. The main auditorium is said to be finished from ninety per cent and the remaining works are just minor details. The renovation and repair works lasted more than one year and required 630 million crowns. The reconstruction started after the damaging floods from the year 2002 but was needed already long before that.

The theatre will completely change its appearance. Even the former pink colour will be replaced by the original green. It may be rather difficult to recognise the historical building since it will be surrounded by modern annex comprising new technical equipment, changing rooms, a studio as well as a ballet assembly room.

The only truly historical area will be the auditorium but even here changes took place. The stage was doubled at the expense of a smaller auditorium. This is certainly an improvement since the fewer spectators will enjoy better view and greater comfort. This can be tried for the very first time during the festive premiere of musical “Producenti” (The Producers) with Ivana Chylkova and Martin Posta with which the theatre will be opened.

The “old-new” Karlin Theatre, which should be lit during the night, will thus combine the most modern technological support with precious historical tradition.

New Puppet Play Faust

Starting from 30th August there will altogether be four opportunities to watch puppet show Faust in the courtyard of the New Town Hall. This play is meant for children older than eight years and has a lot to offer for the entire family. The story of doctor Faust, who promised his body and soul to the devil in return for thirty-six years of his service, is well known. Faust desired namely fame, wealth and power more than his freedom and soul.

The name of the play is very long and actually tells precisely what the puppet show will be about. The play is approximately named: Johannes Doctor Faust alias gruesome comedy with a devil and with an even more gruesome disappearance of Faust into the hell at a time of terrifying thunder according to Czech folk puppeteers.

The New Town Hall is a very special place for this play because of the so called Faust’s House nearby. According to one legend it should be the hole in the roof of this very house through which Faust’s soul was taken to hell. Afterwards it took a very, very long time before the opening was repaired because it seemed so difficult…