How Daddies Play
Drak Theatre’s celebrated production directed by Josef Krofta won the Grand Prix at the Spectaculo Interesse festival in Ostrava and individual prizes at the Skupova Plzeň festival in Plzeň. Five daddies / handymen get together in a workshop and tell the fairy tale about Snow White each in their own way while using all kinds of tools. The production even had a very loose sequel entitled Goldilocks according to Magdalena Dobromila Rettigová.
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.
The African Tale
Our new tale is a little different from what we used to see. That is because it comes of Africa – the land of beautiful and wild nature full of exotic creatures that we know only from a zoo. Africa is also the cradle of Africans that, similarly to us, relate their own tales and myths.
Our straightforward tale accompanied by rythmical rhymes and drumming doesn’t lack for the hero with his failings that leads him into danger. Just a sound story!
Georges Méliès’ Last Trick
Divadlo Drak’s production is inspired by the remarkable life and work of the cinematic pioneer Gerges Méliés. It takes us to the enticing setting of magicians, tricks and magic. The magic tricks that Méliés was the first to use in a film medium, in an unbelievably imaginative manner we might add, still have their artistic poetry today.
And, above all, thera are many who have followed in his footsteps.
Even death comes up short in Méliés’ world full of boundless imagination, since celluloid, illusion and fantasy are weapons that seem to be able to defeat even the Grim Reaper himself… Or can they? We will find out when the story of the fascinating life of the greatest film magician of all time ends.
Doctor Tarzan’s Marvellous Circus
Ladies and Gentlemen, step right up and visit our big top – you will see true wonders from the world of animals. This is because the renowned Doctor Tarzan has just come to your town. Doctor Tarzan, who discovered many absolutely uniqe specimens form the animal knigdom in the primeval forests of Sumatra, in the crags of Kamchatka and elsewhere. The skills these creatures display will také your breath away. No zoo in the world will show you as much as Doctor Tarzan’s marvellous circus! This performance for young and old will bring you the atmosphere of old-fashioned menageries and big tops. For children aged 4 and up.
The Twelve Moons
Maruška lives in a small cottage with her stepmother and stepsister. They are not very nice to her at all. And worst of all is when they send poor Maruška out into the ice and snow to bring back some strawberries: “And don’t come back without them!” Whatever will poor Maruška do now? A blizzard is raging outside, everyone and their dogs are huddled inside, and now she has this silly, impossible chore. Everybody knows that strawberries don’t grow in January. Or have they all forgotten?
This production for younger children is also a solo opportunity for one of the most experienced members of the troupe. In her years in Drak Theatre Ivana Bílková has worked will most of the well-known directors that have passed through the theatre and made it what it is today. She has acted in the legendary productions of Josef Krofta (such as The Bartered Bride), while Jan Borna, Jakub Krofta, Jiří Vyšohlíd and Tomáš Dvořák have also cast her in their productions.
Princess Turandot, the daughter of the Chinese Emperor, does not know what love is and does not want to get married under any circumstances. Thus she asks her father to ordain a cruel condition for all of her suitors. Whoever wants the hand of the princess has to guess three of her riddles otherwise he will lose his head. And the heads are rolling because Turandot is terribly clever. But is she wise, as well? And whatever will become of her meeting with the Czech lad Honza, who has also joined the ranks of her suitors and also therefore those who await an (almost) certain death?
Third Time’s A Charm…
The production Third Time’s A Charm… is a meant for the youngest audiences and is based on classic fairy tales as recorded by Karel Jaromír Erben, Božena Němcová and others. It is inspired by the celebrated tradition of folk puppet and fair theatres and the phenomenon of cantastoria, while looking for new, modern methods of expression for them. Thus we will be telling the trio of tales, in which the magic number three plays a triple role, similarly to how folk puppeteers have been doing it for centuries. But differently nonetheless…
Far North in a hostile place during rough times of Gold Rush, White Fang, a cross-breed of dog and wolf puppy, is growing. Equipped by wildness and effervescence, White Fang cannot easily fit to a pack of wolves not even among people; he is neither accepted nor accepts easily. During his growing up he encounters violence and hatred as well as kindness and even love. What will eventually be imprinted in his soul?
Quotes from reviews:
“They move across the stage as Indians, gold diggers, a pack of wolves, a dog sled team. And, from the big picture to the big details they shoot animal and human lairs, cages, fierce dogfights and hunts, escapes, maws, muzzles, lightning in their eyes, the landscape around the river in a sea of snow… The effect is perfect. The camera’s magic aspires to the realm of poetry.”
P.J. Kříž, White Fang immortalised through new techniques, 6.3.2018 Právo p. 11, Northeast Bohemia)
“Because director Jakub Vašíček works with that most of all, with images, with atmosphere – and he works with it wonderfully, sensitively and carefully. Above all, the intensity and authenticity of the situations make the production of White Fang a powerful experience for audiences young and old.”
Nikola Škvarová, Child: White Fang, 19.4.2018 Divědové na blogu
“An abbreviated version of the world-famous novel. The production abounds with amusing moments, such as loot splitting among pack members, dog fights in wooden rink, etc. Yet, the production also features “chilling” scenes, so typical of the book. The production combines theatre and created live film, which is also projected live. This concept suitably fits the nature of performance and enables the spectator to understand the story from the perspective of the main animal character. Entertaining, yet respecting the value of the original book, the production is suitable also for younger audiences. All male cast present a captivating show with their playing and performing. The strong story is rendered originally, enabling the audiences to experience being in the wolf-skin.”
Antonie Holubová, 5. 4. 2018, divabaze.cz
„White Fang is an adorable performance. I think it contains the most clever use of camera on stage I have ever seen. Not only that. The whole concept is precise, well thought over, actors are great. The protagonist of main character is unbelievable.“
Mojca Redjko, Slovene National Theatre Maribor
Awards and Acknowledgements
ERIK Award for the “Best Puppet Performance of the Season”
Theatre Newpaper’s Award in category „The Best Direction of The Season“ in the field of Alternative and Puppet theatre for director Jakub Vašíček
Skupa‘s Pilsner Awards for Tomáš Jarkovský, Jakub Vašíček and Antonín Šilar for the concept of the performance
Thalie Award for the main protagonist Milan Hajn in the field of Alternative and Puppet Theatre
The planet Odd has a single, solitary inhabitant. He lives here contentedly all by himself in a world that perfectly suits him. Until the planet starts to overheat for some unknown reason, and there is nothing left for him to do by to look for a different refuge. And at that moment he himself probably doesn’t anticipate just what an adventure it will be. “I like the colour blue. It comforts me. It gives me a feeling of certainty. A blue world is a world that is just ne. Tranquil, balanced, safe. Blue is a perfect colour. It has so many forms, so many shades, why would I need any other? The colour of happiness, for example, is light blue like the sky, while sadness is dark blue like moonlight. But not that evil, disturbing sadness that chokes you up. Blue sadness is serene, reconciled. It rises from the depths and disappears again in the depths. And blue happiness sounds quiet, doesn’t shout in intrusive tones, doesn’t bubble rudely to the surface, doesn’t rave, doesn’t whoop it up. It holds it nicely inside and gently trembles. My world is blue because it is all mine. And it is all mine because it is blue.”