Kašpar’s Menagerie

The production from Blanka Luňáková, both the director and the author, drew inspiration from traditional folk puppetry and brings to the stage a famous and celebrated character: Kašpar.

Everybody knows that wherever Kašpar goes, fun is sure to follow. Because since he is not only a merry little lad, but also a fox and a joker, there is no doubt that there will be more than just fun. This time he is heading to the forest in order to offer loads of enticing entertainment to the animals living there. Brtnik the bear is happy to finally have a friend, All the animals are happy and having fun. Nobody suspects that Kašpar may not have the purest of intentions…

It is said that you should quit while you’re ahead, but the rabbit, fox, mole and other high-spirited denizens of the forest want none of that, and they get into quite a mess. But it is also said that every cloud has a silver lining. Thanks to their adventures, the animals come to understand that not everything may be as it seems at first, and that a true friend is one who truly cares about you.

The stage design by Irena Marečková is based on classic puppet comedies, enabling the actors and their puppets to really express themselves in what may appear to be an incompatible manner: both tough and tender at the same time.

BEDTIME!

A devised production bordering poetic physical theatre and clownery by the director Veronika Poldauf Riedlbauchová. Suitable for audiences aged 3+. The production builds on the well-known moment when children should go to bed, but suddenly they discover an undreamt surge of energy and do now want to get to sleep at all, with their father naïvely thinking how smooth this will be.

Riedlbauchová graduated from theatre direction at KALD DAMU under the supervision of Professor Josef Krofta. Consequently, she studied physical acting at Institut del Teatre in Barcelona. It is poetic physical theatre which is at the crux of her oeuvre – most recently her collaboration with Bratři v tricku troupe. Together they have devised a trinity of highly acclaimed productions: Plovárna(Riverside), Funusand Lov(Hunting). On the side, Riedlbauchová is engaged with opera directing, choreography or devising of productions fusing music with poetry.

Sleeping Beauty

An evil fairy is not invited to be a godmother to an infant princess. Yet, the fairy is not to be discouraged and keeps attempting to reach the baptism at any cost. Will the fairy succeed? The readers familiar with the story know that she will. Out production tells the story as a puppet slapstick about the inevitability of faith, when you literally show it out of the door and it will return through the window. However, besides evil fairies, there are also good ones. The world abounds with princes seeking fortune and ready to set free cursed princesses.

Our production is based on classic fairy-tale themes, which are traditional dramaturgical part of Drak Theatre’s repertoire. Following the success of the acclaimed productions like The White Doe and The Golden Fish, after many years Drak has revived a most-classic story of Sleeping Beauty. The well-known tale of a beautiful cursed princess has seen many adaptations by various artists. Its provoking metaphors and imagery seem perfectly suited for puppet theatre. Moreover, its multi-faceted nature is attractive not only for school-aged audiences.

The Direcor, Jakub Vašíček, was given The Award for the Best Direction at the 19th International Festival of Children’s Theatres- BANJA LUKA 2020. “Complex directing combines all the elements of the production, creatively leads the acting-puppets ensemble and depicts the idea of the performance” according to the jury. 

In the media:

When something is especially successful, we in the unorganised church say that “God was in the house”. During the new production of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty in Hradec Králové’s Drak Theatre, I had the persistent feeling that Josef Krofta himself, the noble-minded theatre director of international renown, was holding a protective hand over everything. That is because a certainty, interplay and humour reigned over the entire professional art of puppetry, without a hint of pandering. (…) And then there is the voice and puppetry performances of the actors Pavla Lustyková, Jan Popela and Milan Žďárský! 
If there is any justice, then the 2020 version of Sleeping Beauty already ranks among evergreens such as The White Doe, The Wall, Log Leg, How Daddies Play and White Fang, i.e. among the Drak silver, if not gold.

Petr Mareček, MF DNES, 15.10.2020

 

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