Amundsen kontra Scott
It is year 1910 and the British seafarer and polar explorer Robert Scott has left on a trip to follow his lifelong dream, reaching the South Pole. But a terse telegram from another renowned conqueror of arctic lands, the Norwegian Roal Amundsen, awaits him at a stopover in New Zealand: „Beg leave to inform you Fram proceeding Antarctic, Amundsen.“ This is considered to bet he beginning of the race to bet he first to reach a place lying somewhere far away in an inhospitable wasteland, a place that is nothing in the middle of nowhere…
Our production tells the tale of Scott’s journey as it was recorded in his thrilling diary and i tis a tribute to one great defeat. The fate of Robert F. Scott is proof that even he who loses can still remain unvanquished.
For the sixtieth anniversary of its existence, Drak Theatre has prepared a unique production, which presents the entire troupe and brings to mind the nomadic, carnival roots of our theatre. The theme of Faust is inextricably connected to the puppet theatre. The tale of a scholar, who sells his soul to the devil so that he would nally nd satisfaction in this world, has seen countless marionette variations, including the most celebrated of them all, which was played by the legendary Matěj Kopecký. It is this version of his that became the basis for a production that not only looks back to our predecessors from the ranks of folk puppeteers, but also to the best traditions of our own theatre, and confronts them with the expectations of today. In baroque contrasts, straddling between a farce and a tragedy, decadence and morality, we present a theatre of the world, both small and large, just like the small and large world of the theatre.
Poppy Seed Boy
Once upon a time there was a little old grandmother who was so poor , that all she had was a small cottage with a grandfather in it. And there was also a grandfather who also had nothing more than a small cottage and a grandmother . Even though they had so little, their lives were relatively happy . Until one day a poppy seed came to their home…
THE WALL – Growing up behind the Iron Curtain
The Wall is an extraordinarily unique and world acclaimed book, which mediates both to children and adults the years of 1948-1989, the age of communism and socialism, where many people lived, worked and dreamed behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia. Autobiographical story of the artist, illustrator and author Petr Sís tells a story of music and painting passion, of ideologies burden of history and the need for freedom.
“The book by Petr Sís is compulsory reading for children (and their parents) who believe that freedom is simply for granted.” Václav Havel
“It is my testimony as well as a warning what could happen again. People still keep building walls, be it in Isralel, Mexican border or Ústí nad Labem.” Petr Sís
The theatre production based on the book The Wall is musical and visual grotesque dealing with an utterly non-grotesque past, told from the perspective of a boy who loves colours, but not grey shades, adores music but not fearful silence, believes in dreams and is full of hope. Using visual arts, music, animation, comics, puppetry and playful performing, the makers of the show try to mediate the experience of children’s perception They also want to provide the youngest generation with a closer understanding of the uneasy totalitarian times and to initiate further discussion with teachers and parents regarding issues of oppression and freedom. The autumn of 2019 marks the 30-year anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. Our production wants to contribute to its intergenerational understanding and to highlight such a seminal milestone of Czech history. The performance focuses on the interactivity between acting and animation.
Quotes from reviews:
“Perhaps it was the intention of the authors Miřenka Čechová and Dominika Špalková, that there was less imagination and theatrical magic, so that the production tailored to the Drak Studio would clearly tell children from 9 years and up where words are not enough. Thus, paradoxically, a theatrical illustration was created of what are already distinctive comics.”
Petr Mareček, MF DNES, 2.10.2019
The production was awarded a “Hradecká múza 2019,” annual award given by the city of Hradec Králové for a significant achievement in the cultural field.
MUD ON HEAD
A unique puppet production for adult audiences combines the tradition of Czech puppetry with absurd humor. Using the means of classical theatre, it captures the grotesque dimension of today‘s reality.
The production of Richard Balous is co-produced with Prague‘s La Fabrika.
The original The Journey production explores the theme of initiation journey which is present in American literature from Mark Twain and Jack London, through Jack Kerouac to Cormac McCarthy and its aim is to mediate this phenomenon (described e.g. by Joseph John Campbell) to current coming-of age audiences.
Our hero (we call him Jack, referring to the duo of vagabond-authors London-Kerouac) is a literature student fed up with overly theoretical studies completely detached from real life and creativity. He is sick of conformist city life and predictable prospects rooted in the American dream. So he decides to escape such presence and future: he packs his stuff and hits the road. Hitchhiking, he meets his counterpart, Huck (echoing Huckelberry Finn, the first famous vagrant in history of American literature), a free-spirited, spontaneous homeless tramp. The two are joined by the third member – Carolyne, a girl who runs away from her fiancé and the upcoming wedding.
The three set out for San Francisco – the westernmost outpost with the reputation of free paradise. Via the drivers giving them lift, they experience a rich portrayal of the society. They encounter pragmatism of an insurance agent, explicit racism of a Southern farmer, proud patriotism of a veteran, or a pensive fatalism of a Native American descendant. Simultaneously, they experience alcohol and drug intoxication; they develop erotic relationships as well as a firm spiritual bond which makes them determined to spend their entire life on tour. Yet, the originally playful fooling around grows into dangerous balancing on the verge of law as well as of self-destruction. They step over the borderline once and end up in prison, where they meet an old vagrant – an image of their possible future. This experience affects each of them differently, which ultimately leads to their separation. Therefore, they never reach San Francisco (which becomes their unfulfilled dream destination). Carolyne returns to her fiancé, Huck continues in his wanderings, whereas Jack sets out for a different, symbolic journey – a journey of his own creativity.
In the media:
“The Journey, the new production in the studio of Hradec Králové’s Drak Theatre from director Jakub Vašíček and dramaturge Tomáš Jarkovský, is highly playful and an actor’s and musician’s tour de force aimed at teenagers. It aims at them with American literature, music and the jazz poetry of the beat generation.”
“It is perhaps better to not reveal the strength of some of the scenes on Kamil Bělohlávek’s stage, where the audience members sit across from each another, or the magic of Daniel Čámský’s musical motifs. The Journey can be highly recommended, and not only for school. It may be wishful thinking that the play would kindle interest in the students to read the American classics of the 50s and 60s, but it will definitely move sensitive souls to not only sit back and enjoy the ride, but mainly to experience every moment and bear the consequences for it.”
Petr Mareček, MF DNES, 30.11.2019 | rating 80%
“It is a piece that is as fizzy as champagne, while also as pungent as flat beer at times. Jarkovský and Vašíček, in cooperation with excellent musicians, manage to properly measure out the situations (…). The interactivity is entertaining, as is the free and playful atmosphere and subsequent sadness, when euphoria is followed by the dark side of drifting. And one more thing: Jazmina Piktorová is the literal embodiment of femininity and she is a wonderful singer. Yeah, I saw it a second time, and I would go again.”
Jana Soprová, Bulletin of the 69th Loutkářská Chrudim Festival
The White Doe
A daughter is born to a royal couple and they give her the name Jitřenka. She was kind
and pretty and would have brought only joy to her parents if she didn’t have a strange threat looming over her. She couldn’t let a simple ray of sunlight fall upon her until her sixteenth birthday, otherwise… And so the King had a castle built without windows or doors, determined to protect Jitřenka from the sun. But it is not possible to live without light…
A devised production bordering on 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 not 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.
Awards and acknowledgements:
At the 2021 Mateřinka international theatre festival, Veronika Riedlbauchová received the Governor of the Liberec Region’s Award for the direction and choreography of the production, Marianna Stránská for the scenography, Michal Kříž for light design and composer Jan Čtvrtník for music. (more…)
Goldilocks by M. D. Rettigova
The performance of Goldilocks by M. D. Rettigova (director Josef Krofta) builds on the theme of successful production “How Daddies Play”. The performance was awarded on the International Festival of Puppet Theater in Bielsko-Biala in 2012 as the best performances for children. The production is still one of the most successful productions of Drak Theatre.
The performance attracted audiences by the well known fairy tale in an unusual environment. This time we encounter a group of men as masters of the art of cooking in a restaurant kitchen. One of the cooks starts reading the fairy tale of Goldilocks and burns onion. Servant George tastes magical snake, which allows the king to understand the speech of animals. To save his life, he sets out to look for the golden-haired maiden among the pots, mixers, spoons, pans, meat grinders. And Goldilocks? She is simply tasty!
Actors dazzling by humor and culinary skills. And cooks are cooking and frying during the search for the golden-haired. The performance is not only for children but also for adults. We promise you a typical and atypical theatrical aroma and experiences.
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. Our 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 a 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. (more…)