The Tempest, As You Like It,
Othello, The Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night
The Summer Shakespeare Festival – the showcase of theatre productions performed in the courtyard of the Burgrave Palace at the Prague Castle – was originally initiated by President VÁCLAV HAVEL.
For the eleventh time, this original theatre project of Shakespeare plays will be presented under the open sky with the ancient backdrops of CASTLES of PRAGUE, BRNO and BRATISLAVA. In 2007, it is certain that the programme of the Shakespeare Summer Festival will continue to be a major cultural event in the Czech Republic, having long since surpassed its significance as a mere summer showcase of theatre.
Although the productions are not performed in their original language, many foreign spectators continue to flock to see the performances. This is primarily because of the strong acting performances, the famous plays themselves and the atmosphere of the ancient castles as a scenic backdrop of the productions.
This year, due to immense public interest, another stage will be added to the festival: in addition to the productions at the Prague Castle, performances can also be seen at the Lichtenstein Palace (the seat of Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts) located on Malostranské náměstí (Lesser Town Square), located just across the street from the St. Nicholas Cathedral right in the heart of Old Prague.
The new agenda in this year’s Summer Shakespeare Festival line up is THE TEMPEST. The production, directed by Jakub Korčák (artistic director of the Drama Department of the National Theatre in Brno), will not lack the acting talents of some of the leading Czech theatre personalities. We will have the opportunity of seeing the exquisite acting talents of Slovak actor Martin Huba in the role of the noble Prospero and Jan Tříska as the savage and deformed slave. Tříska excelled in the Summer Shakespeare Festival in 2002 and 2003 with his performance of King Lear. For Jan Tříska, who lives in the United States and has worked with leading theatre directors from all over the world, the role of Lear was a significant return to Czech theatre – and under the direction of Huba, it was a return to his true reign. That particular production was one of the most successful and most awarded plays in the history of the Summer Shakespeare Festival. The return of the team of Huba and Tříska in another play and in different roles will not disappoint the public this year. The Prague premiere will take place on June 21, 2007 at the Prague Castle´s Burgrave Palace.
The newest Czech addition to the festival will be the comedy AS YOU LIKE IT, prepared in Bratislava last year under the direction of famous Slovak director Emil Horvath. Here we can anticipate the exceptional acting talent of leading personalities from both the Czech and Slovak Republics: Marián Labuda, Ladislav Hampl, Martin Dejdar, the Norisová sisters and Miroslav Noga. The premiere is planned to take place on 3rd of August at t he Burgrave palace at the Prague Castle.
Last year’s successful production of OTHELLO will remain in this year’s line up. The production is considered a “post-fairytale” play with suspenseful situations and amazing performances. Director Petr Kracik (Pod Palmovka Theatre) cast Michal Dlouhý (alternated by Martin Zahálka) as the jealous Moor; Lucie Vondráčková (Zuzana Vejvodová) plays the role of Desdemona, and dastardly Iago will be performed by Oldřich Navrátil. The cast also includes Ladislav Frej (Brabantio), Jan Teplý and Petr Štěpán (Cassio), Jan Révai (Roderigo), Zuzana Slavíková and Barbora Munzarová (Emilia) and Rudolf Jelínek (Gratiano).
In addition to Othello, the Festival once again welcomes the production of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE with the great acting talent of famous Czech theatre performer Bolek Polívka in the role of the rich Jew Shylock and his daughter Anna Polívková as Jessica.
The Summer Shakespeare Festival program also brings back the successful comedy TWELFTH NIGHT with Jiří Langmajer, Linda Rybová, Miroslav Táborský, Jitka Schneiderová and a host of other famous actors. The production is a high-spirited “family oriented” performance with colourful costumes and set design, and a catchy musical accompaniment inspired by original Baroque melodies. These are just a few of the reasons why TWELFTH NIGHT and THE MERCHANT OF VENICE have been a part of the festival line up for three years – and tickets for both productions continue to sell out very quickly…
And what’s more...
History confirms that the Summer Shakespeare Festival is an activity that attracts quality creators, the interest of the media and a substantially large public. In 1999 and 2000, President Václav Havel granted the project his personal support with his patronage. The Czech Republic’s current President VÁCLAV KLAUS has also granted the activities of the festival with his support. Another great patron of the Festival is its main partner, the PPF Group.
The Czech-based company standing on the peak of the financial market has supported the Festival for eight years. Thanks to its initiative, the theatre showcase has grown to include prestigious photographic exhibitions (organized right on the grounds of the Prague Castle) as well as other benevolent, charitable activities. This year, for its large audiences and for those individuals who do not speak Czech or Slovak, the PPF Group has prepared an outstanding exhibition entitled, MAXIMUM PHOTOGRAPHY that will be on display in the picturesque gardens of the Prague Castle.
Production agency (Prague, Brno):
AGENTURA SCHOK, spol. s r.o., email@example.com
Production agency (Bratislava):
Agentúra JAY production, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact for press and media: Magdalena Bicikova, email@example.com
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