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Acclaimed Czech Theatre makes London debut

Dejvicke Theatre - A Winter's Tale
Dejvicke Theatre – A Winter’s Tale

Prague’s cult Dejvicke Theatre celebrates the work of Shakespeare, Irvine Welsh and Lev Theremin. Performances set to launch the 20th edition of the Made in Prague festival celebrating Czech theatre, cinema, visual arts and music.

Critically acclaimed for original writing and star casting and boasting multiple national and international awards, the Dejvicke Theatre is one of Prague’s most celebrated cult venues. Now, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Made in Prague festival organized by the Czech Centre London, the theatre will make its London debut. All plays are in Czech with English surtitles.

For three nights at the Greenwood Theatre, the Prague company will present three UK premieres showcasing the best of its repertoire: Petr Zelenka’s Theremin, William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and the risqué A Blockage in the System inspired by the stories of Irvine Welsh. The careful selection of three plays presents a cross section of the company‘s work: original writing (Petr Zelenka’s Theremin), the adaptation of contemporary world literature (A Blockage in the System based on Welsh’s Acid House) and an extraordinary interpretation of the great classics (Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale).

The specific, seductive and sparkling quality of each performance results from the fact that the Dejvicke Theatre is both a permanent venue and a company with a superb cast who have worked closely together for the past twenty years. The actors frequently appear in feature films and television and are adored by the public and awarded by critics.

Coming to London is a unique opportunity to showcase one of the top Czech drama companies and we will bring the best it has to offer“, adds Eva Kejkrtova-Merickova, director of the Dejvicke Theatre.

ThereminThe series opens with Theremin, a play by Petr Zelenka, one of the wittiest Czech playwrights and filmmakers and winner of five Czech National Film Awards for films such as Lost in Munich and The Karamazov Brothers (screened at the London Film Festival in 2015 and 2008 respectively). It follows the controversial life of Lev Theremin – inventor of the theremin, (the first electronic musical instrument), scientist, musician and Russian spy. Theremin is brilliantly portrayed by Czech film and theatre star Ivan Trojan. Theremin virtuoso Lydia Kavina (Lev Theremin’s granddaughter) will perform during the intermission and also give visitors an opportunity to try out the instrument.

The play has received numerous awards, including best drama, best actor and nominations for the Alfred Radok Award and the Thálie Award for Ivan Trojan’ s performance.

A Blockage in the System – Why is God sitting on the substitutes bench?, famous as the company´s most foul-mouthed play, is based on Irvine Welsh’s second book, Acid House, a collection of short stories. Daniel Majling’s adaptation is based on one of the stories – A Blockage in the System, but by including characters from other stories it ultimately paints an insightful portrayal of Edinburgh’s underbelly. In 2012 the play won two Alfred Radok Prizes, top Czech theatre awards, for Best Play and Best Actor (Ivan Trojan).

The Winter’s Tale marks the global celebrations of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death with a beautiful adaptation of his final play, which is partially set in Bohemia. The Dejvicke Theatre approaches this magical and complex text as a “psycho-thriller with a happy ending” full of subtle irony, humour and with stunning stage design. „Details make good theatre and Dejvicke Theatre has managed to create an astonishing adaptation with its thought-through details and by faithfulness to the original text,“ says professor Martin Hilský, Shakespeare scholar and translator, member of the Order of the British Empire. “It was the best Winter’s Tale I have ever seen in any language. The actors were very strong and the direction and editing of the text were excellent,” confirms Guy Roberts, director of the Prague Shakespeare Company.

The Dejvicke Theatre showcase is part of the Made in Prague Festival (November 5th to December 2nd 2016) celebrating contemporary Czech cinema, theatre and music in London. All plays are in Czech with English surtitles.
See www.czechcentre.org.uk.

In October 2017, the Dejvicke Theatre will celebrate a quarter of a century since its founding. During that time it has built a reputation as one of the most popular and most visited of Czech theatres. Consistently sold-out, Dejvicke Theatre offers performances of different genres that share a common denominator: good theatre, with clarity and an emphasis on great actors. The theatre has been named Theatre of the Year five times, and claimed a number of major awards for both productions and individual artists.

Jan Thompson, HM Ambassador to the Czech Republic and British Ambassador to the Czech Republic:
I really enjoyed this excellent production of The Winter’s Tale. Pacey and full of energy, it captured expertly both the humour and the tragedy of Shakespeare’s original.



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